Monday, January 16, 2012

"The Door"
6" X 6" Oil on Raymar Canvas Panel

We watched as Lane slowly and methodically got out of the Rescue Mission (homeless shelter) van.  Like a well-oiled machine, he began navigating his way up the long sidewalk to the church doors.  With each step, his crutches propelled his body forward as he drug both legs behind.   Our emotions surged with compassion and wonderment.  I thought of the numerous times that it just wasn’t all that “convenient” to go to church - the weather was bad, or I was too tired, or I needed to sleep in, or I didn’t have anything to wear, or my back hurt .....  Until now, I had thought our “greeting” job wasn’t really very important.  
Once inside, Lane stopped to re-cupe right behind my door.  I asked him if he needed some help and he promptly told me that he had it covered and the “GPS on his crutches would tell him where he needed to go.”

I decided that personally welcoming him took precedence over the proper manning of my door.  (Besides, my husband was still working his post.) 
       I said, "So, have you been here before?"
       He said,  “No, I don't go to church.  But for the past two years, it’s just basically been me
             and God."
       I said, “It sounds like you know Him pretty well.”  
       He said . “Yeah, I've been through a lot, but I can’t quote chapter/verse.”
       I said,  “That’s okay - that's not what it’s all about anyway.”   

This man had a history with God.  As we continued to talk, I learned more about him, and his situation.  He came into our building with needs that evening.  I wish I could tell you this story ends with,  “So, I took him over to the side – we sat down on the bench, and I prayed with him – for a job, for housing, for God’s love and blessing, for healing …..”

But, I didn’t.  I told him I would pray for him - which I did - and still do.  Wish I had a do-over.

Lane essentially knocked on the door of our church that day.  I, like you, wonder if his life changed that evening – by the message he heard, a song that was sung, a person he sat next to, or maybe he even met someone who helped him find a job, or was healed from his bitterness.   I wonder, too, if I had been obedient, how it may have changed my life.  

Opening a “door” for someone may change their world. 
Walking through that door with them may also change yours. 

(South of France reference photo compliments of Anne Heinrich.)


  1. Lovely painting and heartfelt story, Debbie.

  2. Thank you, Faye. I have enjoyed your recent posts too! Looking forward to painting together in June :)
    (Click on her blog link at the right to see her work - you will be glad you did!)