The Door Is Always Open
Nancy Byrd Turner
If you come cheerily,
Here shall be jest for you;
If you come wearily,
Here shall be rest for you.
If you come borrowing,
Gladly we'll loan to you.
If you come sorrowing,
Love shall be shown to you.
Under our thatch, friend,
Place shall abide for you,
Touch but the latch, friend,
The door shall swing wide for you!
I came upon the above poem in an old issue (and I do mean old) of Ideals magazine. It reminded me of an experience that I had last week...
I was busily cleaning my house when there was a knock on my door. I looked out my side window and saw that two nicely dressed young men were standing there. Normally, if I see two young men standing at my front door, I assume they are missionaries from the LDS Church, as missionaries and members are plentiful here in the state of Utah. However there was enough difference in dress that I knew they were members of another church. I hastily opened the door (CAUTION: I follow the Spirit and my own intuition about opening my door to people whom I do not know, especially when I am home alone). These were missionaries from the Jehovah's Witness church. We stood and chatted for a few minutes. They asked if I would read their magazine if they gave it to me and I said that I would. They asked if they could visit and chat with me some other day...
Some ten years ago, while I was at home working on the house, my doorbell rang. When I opened my door, I found two lovely young women standing there. I knew they were probably Jehovah's Witnesses, so after a few pleasantries, I was prepared to dismiss them with the information that I was devout in my faith (LDS) and go on about my busy day. But God had other plans. I distinctly heard Him say in my heart,
"What do you have to do that is more important than talking about Me?"
So, I let them in.
There transpired one of the sweetest hours of conversation that I have ever had. In short, we shared together what we held in common - a love of God and of His Son, Jesus Christ. We shared a lot about what if feels like to be judged on appearances instead of being valued for who we really are inside.
I learned a lot that day. I learned that conveying God's love to all, whether we share the exact same beliefs or not, is all important, that taking time to listen and look in a person's eyes gives them a wonderful gift, even if we shall never see each other again, and that there is nothing more important than conversing about God, especially when it is done in love.
When I closed the door on these two sweet young women that day, I felt the Peace of God in my heart. I may not have gotten my laundry and ironing completed, but God taught me to take care of the most important thing, loving others as I would want to be loved.
As the two young men from the Jehovah's Witness church stood waiting for my answer at the door last week, I remembered my experience with those two young women years ago. I felt safe in this situation to say...
"Yes, when my husband is home, you may come another time. We are devout in our faith, but our door is always open to others who love God".
Sometimes we believe we have to agree and if we don't, it is more comfortable to keep to our own. God has taught me that loving and sharing a mutual reverence for God should come first before all other things. In this way, the door of our hearts is always stands open.