Behind Closed Doors
There was this fight, you see, with all the wicked words dripping with sarcasm and spite, all the refusals to understand, all the tiny, incremental decisions to hurt and refusals to love in the ways that love actually matters. It was ugly, as fights tend to be, and it ended with the slamming of doors.
These closed doors, they speak so loudly and abrasively. They speak of hurt and stubbornness and ignorance and regret. They divide and they separate, closing us off from each other, ruling out possibility. They mock us as we stare blankly, angrily at them, willing them to open, wishing there was a rewind button, wishing words could be unsaid and actions could be undone.
How desperately we wish these closed doors would open.
The gospel text for this week begins thus:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked…
There they are, these followers of this Jesus… This Jesus who had endured the mocking, the abuse, the sinister, hateful words, this Jesus who they had seen wither and die on that vicious Roman cross, and their hopes with him. There they are, despite seeing an impossibly empty tomb, despite hearing the incredulous words of Mary, “I have seen the Lord!” There they are, behind closed doors, restless, fearful, confused, unable to make any sense of just what the hell is going on. And so they close the door and they hide—from the religious authorities, from the questions, from the madness, from the outside world that is roiling in chaos and confusion.
And then. Jesus is there.
Right there, on their side of the closed door. There he is with his hands and his side, his wounds and his words. “Peace be with you,” he says. “Peace be with who are so slow to understand, to receive, to believe. Peace be with you, behind these closed doors.”
How very good it is that Jesus is no respecter of the many hopeless things that go on behind closed doors—that closed doors are no match for the resurrected Lord of Life. How very hopeful it is that love and life find their way into our world and our lives. How very glad I am that closed doors can open to courage, forgiveness, healing, and peace.