Do you know you have a door in your heart? An entryway that can admit or shut up? It’s not a visible aperture but a metaphorical truth we can relate to. Because we all get to decide what we let into our heart and mind, what we’re willing to allow or want to refuse admittance to.
Many of us struggle with guarding our hearts, while others have built a huge, defensive wall around them to protect from hurt and pain. I did the latter for years and kept the door of my heart closed tight to others.
Once my life was full of shame and pain and fear. I closed my heart in response to it all and it hardened like a defensive shield and carapace. Creepers grew over the door of my heart. Although I didn’t know it at first.
I lived in ignorance of my instinctive behaviour. Maybe you’ve felt like that? Finally, my eyes opened to acknowledge the wall I had erected around my heart. And I became willing to change how I normally responded.
God has been gradually tearing down the wall, brick by brick, with my cooperation, as I’ve surrendered and opened it wider for Holy Spirit to work within. Although guarding our hearts against poisonous emotions and attitudes is wise, it shouldn’t mean resisting the call of Christ on our lives.
One of my favourite aspects of Advent is how God invites us to look for His light and respond personally to the nearness of Christ. Most importantly, the Door to Life in all its fullness is marvellously revealed to us by faith.
“In Advent, God does not first confront us with our sin; instead, we are invited to prepare to make God welcome; we are invited to take the initiative, to find our best selves, to be willing to open the door to the baby in need.” – The Art of Advent: A Painting a Day from Advent to Epiphany by Dr Jane Williams
Light of the World
at break of dawn,
at the door of my heart,
coming forth as regal-cloaked stranger
carrying a lamp.
Although your own
eclipses all earthly light
we see, here it’s enclosed, within your
soul and fastened deep.
You wear a crown
of thorns, like a convict,
not a king, who lives in heavenly realms,
where you are revered, and where
angelic voices sound.
The door is shut,
covered in creepers, held fast
by ancient fears,
no sign of lock or chink by which
light can exit or enter in.
Still you knock,
with gentle firmness,
by how long it might take for me
to grant you entry.
I might resist
for days, moments, years,
and yet you stay,
such is your longing to dispense
forgiveness and grace.
You also know
how hard Holy Spirit is already
working in my heart
and how it’s worth the lengthy wait
while I prevaricate.
This poem is based on The Light of the World painting by William Holman Hunt.
“Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.” – Revelation 3:20 CEV
Jesus is the Door
In addition, though I’ve been speaking about opening the door of our hearts to God, there is actually a two-way activity going on.
Because Christ Himself is the Light of Life and the Door whereby we enter in to begin a close relationship with God. And it’s a door that stands permanently open to us. We’re always able to access His presence.
“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.” – Matthew 7:7-8 GNT
This is so beautiful today. I have loved that painting for a long time, and your words are so preciously aligned with it’s beauty. I can hear what my Lord has been calling to me with that light–He’s already inside, I opened the door to those inner chambers long ago. But He is continually calling me to come inside with Him there, even where the pain still is lodged in deep cracks. He sits there with us, bringing His own healing and light. Thank you so much for these beautiful words today, my friend. So much what I needed to hear today. Love and hugs to you! xoxo
Dear Bettie, the painting is a favourite of mine too. I’m grateful if my words do not detract from the beauty of its implicit message. Our Lord continually calls us to come aside and inside with Him, to the place where He dwells within our hearts. We might ignore or resist His call, but if we do it’s to our detriment. Because we’re desperate for the light and healing He brings. May God’s light fill and flood your soul, my friend, and may you warm yourself on the glow of His loving presence. Love and hugs to you too! xoxo 💜
Oh yes, Joy, I know about putting up high walls out of fear of being hurt again. I even feared to open up too much to God because of how my abuser used God’s Name to get what he wanted. Such confusion for so long. I’m so grateful that God is so miraculously showing me step by step that He is trustworthy and His actions are holy and healing, not painful and devastating. May He continue to deepen our healing! Thank you for this beautiful, encouraging message! I love it all, but the last two stanzas especially move me. It’s such a comforting truth that the Holy Spirit longs to give us grace and forgiveness, but He is so patient with us while we hesitate and evade Him. Such love and mercy! Love and hugs to you!
Oh, Trudy, I’m so sorry for the hurt, pain and confusion you have suffered and how hard it has been for you to open up and trust that God’s intentions are pure and good, never mind trusting others. It’s healing and releasing when we do realise that God is for us, He loves us unconditionally and seeks to comfort, heal and save us. Amen to your prayer! May it be so, my friend. I’m truly thankful for the patience and grace Holy Spirit exerts in dealing with our slow, rebellious and wary souls. Such love and mercy indeed! Blessings of greater peace, a deepening appreciation of God’s love for you and comforting hugs from a fellow wary warrior! xo 💜
Beautiful poetry for a lovely painting. As always, you blessed me again. xx
Dear Tanya, it always blesses me to hear from you! I miss my interactions with friends on Facebook but rarely have the energy for it. I’m grateful you found a blessing here as well. May the joy of the Lord be with you during Advent and beyond. xo 💜💟