The doors all around us

At the end of the day as I pulled into my driveway a few weeks ago, I reached up and hit the button to open my garage door, like I always do. Only this time was different. The garage door didn’t open. I tried again. Nothing. I pushed it once more, and still no action. No gently rising door to welcome me and my car at the end of the day.

I figured the battery had suddenly died in the remote starter. So I went to the shop, fetched the spare opener, and unfortunately got the same results. Finally I let myself in the front door and realized right away that all the digital clocks were stopped. So that explained the door trouble! No electricity to power the opener to open the garage door for me.

A few hours later-before dark, thankfully-the power was back on, my little car was safely in its berth for the night, and the clocks were all reset. Which got me to thinking about doors.

Just about any house has a lot of them to keep out the weather, to keep us safe from unwanted company, perhaps to guard little ones from falling down the steps, in come cases to make a decorating statement. There are solid wood doors that have a certain character all their own. In a newer home like mine, often the doors are the simple hollow core functional models. But they all do the same job. The doors in my house are part of a plan, a nod toward staying in this house toward retirement and old age, as they are wider than standard.

In some cases, doors are closed. But there are open doors, too, which I prefer most of the time. As well as narrow doors and wide doors, there are locked doors and closed doors, garage doors and interior house doors. In public buildings, we might see revolving doors or doors that automatically slide open when approached.

So those are all physical doors. But what about the doors in our hearts? Are they open to new people and new experiences, or is our immediate response to close our doors and not let anyone in? In our Iowa Nice culture, when someone needs help it’s easy to open our hearts, but I find it’s not always so easy to open the doors to our own hearts when we’re hurting and could use the support of others.

I know that in this 21st century we are warned to be on guard for unusual people and situations. But I hope we can keep our hearts open to the goodness of others and to the needs of those around us.