Knocking on the Door
We often describe God’s ongoing pursuit of us as “knocking on the door.” The idea is that we are home in ourselves and God wants in. But God is not forceful. He won’t just barge on in without invitation. She won’t climb through a window if we bar Her from the door. So God stands at the door and knocks, waiting patiently for us to hear and open the door.
It’s a helpful image. But I’ve begun to wonder which side of the door God is on. After all, as Christians we believe in God incarnate, the God who dwells within us all. We may think it is we who invite God in from the outside, but God is actually already present all along. As the Latin inscription Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit reminds us, “Bidden or not bidden God is with us.”
So what if we were to imagine in ourselves an inner room, our own holy of holies? It is the place of our deepest being and knowing. And it is the place where God abides. Unfortunately, it’s not the place where we abide most of the time. We live in all the other rooms of our house, those we’ve carefully constructed and decorated ourselves. They are full of all kinds of fancy furniture, inspiring artwork, nifty gadgets—things we think will make others, maybe even God, want to come in and stay a while. We can spend our whole lives rearranging and redecorating these rooms, preparing for the holy visitation.
But in all our activity, we may miss the faint knocking at our door. Or we may hear it, go to the front door and find no one there. Ah, because it’s coming from some place deep inside. That little room we pass by every day of our lives, only occasionally pausing to hear the knocking or to wonder what or Who might be on the other side.
Maybe it’s God. In the deepest part of you, inviting you to come in and rest a while. Inviting you to discover the naked and beautiful truth of who you are in the center of your being. Inviting you to just be in the Divine presence, to bask in the love of the Beloved.
And if you want, God will swing that inner door wide open and let you in.
Whenever you pray, go into your inner room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who is in secret will reward you. Matt 6:6