crack the door

I started going to the chiropractor this summer (which is a whole post in and of itself). I’ve got the routine down pat: Go in the exam room, take off clothes from the waist up, put on gown, crack the door so the doctor knows you’re ready. There is even a little sign that reminds us: “Female patients: crack the door about a half inch when you are ready”.

I wondered a little bit what would happen if I forgot to crack the door. Would I just sit there waiting and waiting? Would someone knock? Or would it be up to me to open the door to let the doctor in?

Closed doors are sort of the international sign for “go away,” aren’t they?

When I don’t want anyone disturbing my class, I shut the door.

When Eddie and Charlie are not available to play with the neighbor kids, we shut the garage door.

When we need privacy in the bathroom, we shut the door.

When we want to keep someone out, we shut the door. When we are ready to have visitors, we open it.

door-cracked-open

I don’t think I ever really shut my heart to God, but I did close it far enough that the “crack” was barely visible. At least to human eyes. In all my youthful questioning, the door was never really shut. It was later, when loss seemed to be our new way of life that I started bumping the door to almost shut.

When Cortney lost his job, Eddie was 3 months old and colicky, and I was suffering from depression and anxiety, the door was as good as closed. I hadn’t pushed it all the way to latching, but I wanted nothing to do with a God who would take away so much from me and my family. One who seemed to want nothing but pain and hurt to wave over us.

If ever I was going to shut my heart’s door, it was then.

But for some reason I didn’t actually give it that last push. I didn’t allow it to latch.

And even though it appeared to everyone–including myself–that my heart was closed to church and God and anything having to do with religion, God knew it wasn’t really closed.

Over the past nine months, I’ve cracked my heart’s door. I’ve allowed some light to pour through. I’ve cautiously opened myself to new relationships with people, church, and Jesus.

That is not to say that I’ve flung my door wide open and am swaying to praise music with my arms in the air. No. I have questions. I have doubts. I wonder how my political and social views fit with the theology of the church.

I remain cautious as I continue to learn and grow in this newish faith. I carefully watch and listen as I am told that the church is called to be one, but to embrace diversity of all kinds. Disagreement doesn’t mean you’re kicked out.

So I have cracked the door to my heart to let the light in a little because I am ready.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Sometimes a closed door gives us a sense of safety and security. But in closing it, we also can close ourselves away from wonderful things too. I am glad that your door is opening now, Katie.
    Kim recently posted…Time in a BottleMy Profile

  2. This really speaks to me Katie. Some day I would love to sit down and hear more about your thoughts on religion. Since mine is based almost entirely on action, and yours is so grounded in faith, I think it makes for really interesting conversation.

  3. I like this. I really, really do. I can also relate. Probably a lot more than I would like to admit.
    Jennifer recently posted…The LTYM Videos are HereMy Profile

  4. I like that analogy. For me, while I don’t close the door, sometimes I don’t guard it enough to see if something else like wind or a running child has pushed it closed and sometimes I realized that it isn’t as open as I would like it to be, because I’ve ignored it for so long. It is good to be reminded to check on that door every once in a while and remember to open it a little further.
    Laura recently posted…Loving CanadaMy Profile

  5. I’m glad you’ve let in a little light and knowledge and love through that door – because really, that’s what it is, isn’t it?

    May your heart find what your heart finds. xo
    Alison recently posted…20 StrangersMy Profile

  6. You always come up with the best metaphors.
    I never really discuss my religious views, mostly because I feel like I’m in the minority. I am not a believer in a higher power – besides perhaps goodness, nature…that kind of thing.

    My sister, on the other hand, embraces a faith that says those who haven’t accepted their version of God/Jesus are hellbound. I love her and her family but can’t reconcile that notion. We have rarely spoken of it, they don’t preach to us at all. But I did ask her once how she feels, thinking that I and my family are “damned” for lack of a more gentle term (there’s nothing gentle about damnation, is there?).

    She said she prays for us and believes in her heart that God will bring us around in His time. But when I read this post, I wonder: can He do that if our doors are shut? I suppose she would say yes He can.

    Still. I haven’t been called yet, not that I have seen/felt. It’s an odd place to be…when so many people around me appear to be very strong in their faith. So I appreciate the honesty here about the cracks in your door.
    julie gardner recently posted…ProvisionalMy Profile

  7. I can so relate. I used to describe my own faith walk struggles as running away… but never very far. And I could never resist the temptation to peek in every now and then. It’s rather like He just wouldn’t let me go….even though He knew I needed to stray a little bit to test my faith. He still somehow kept me close. But I love this cracked door analogy — it’s perfect!
    Rorybore recently posted…WW: This is How We CampMy Profile

  8. You know I love this post, Katie! I relate to it so much. I’m happy that you have cracked the door, and that you are able to write about your experiences so openly. xoxo
    Andrea recently posted…Fight NiceMy Profile

  9. Closing the door completely would mean surrendering that last bit of hope, wouldn’t it? When the world thinks you’ve shut it, there’s power and comfort in knowing they’re wrong. Lovely post, Katie.
    Kara recently posted…Just A DayMy Profile