The door to St. Joseph's University Church for my joyous wedding. That same door, to St. Joseph's, forty-some years later, for my son Peter's funeral. My heart squeezes, enlarges, breaks, with the conflicting memories.
The doors to my children's houses for visits and parties, a grandchild usually hanging out the door yelling "Hi!" or running to us for a kiss and hug, or to carry in food we've brought - especially on Thanksgiving when they know I've brought an extra turkey.
The door to a funeral parlor, when pregnant, I know I'm going to see my father dead for the first time. The door to the Emergency Room where I know I'll see my son dead for the first time. Oh God no - shut that door I can't go through that door please..... And the door opens and it's my heart that's shut down for God knows how long....
The door at the Asa Ransom house that opens to my family smiling and shouting for my surprise 70th birthday party.
The doors to so many hospital rooms to see the smiling faces of family and friends who made it through a hard, dangerous surgery.... The doors to restaurants and hotels and motels and cottages and airplanes that are magical entries to trips and vacations...The doors to nurseries to peer ecstatically through the glass at newborn children and grand-children.... The numerous, wonderful doors to churches and loving relatives' and friends' homes...
Doors herald ongoing love, ongoing change. Only one Door opens to constant, onrushing Light and Life, more wondrous than Dorothy's black and white vision changing into brilliant riotous color and light as she opens the door to Oz.
"I tell you, I am the door for the sheep," says Jesus. Jesus is the Door Who stays constantly open for us, a Door no destructive enemy can shut once it's open because His plan is to give each of us eternal love and life which no one can take from us.
Sometimes in anger and outrage we're the ones who try to pull the Door closed, hiding from Him because we reject Him. He won't let us shut it all the way - ever. He waits for us to return. He waits for us to cry out like St. Peter, "Lord, to whom else can we go? You have the Words of eternal life!"
As you open door after door in your life, as joys uplift you and sorrows crush your heart, reach inside, reach through the door that is open, that is lit like your home's welcoming windows as you approach on a dark night. Reach for the Hand that will never let you go.
Jesus is the One Who also opens doors for us that no man can shut - doors through which we never thought we could enter - to find new love, new life, new ways to accomplish the mission He's given us, to preach His Word, to awaken faith. Always, whether we see life or death, He sees life - and brings it to us abundantly!