The front storm door on my house, well, is falling off. Currently it is held in place by the air chamber tube that is supposed to keep it from slamming and one hinge on the very bottom. This door has been there for many years, long before my husband was called to his Heavenly home. It has seen its share of hardships. As I look at this door and try to figure out what to do, it has me thinking of how this door, reminds me of life.
Consider this, in the beginning, we are new. We are fresh, beautiful and strong. We are prepared to accomplish the results for which we are designed. For a time, we are strong in our commitment and ability. Every day we go about doing everything as we should. But then life, and difficulties happen.
For this storm door, years ago we had a dog that was terrified of loud noises. One day while he was home alone a storm came up. In his terror, he tried to gain entry into the house. He ripped holes in the screen. In life, those we come into contact with, can and will, rip holes in our trust. When one is bullied, lied to, abused in any way, we begin to fear and lose trust in those we interact with. We suffer through injury and hurt with every attack on our person and personality. We are still there, we are still trying, but we are damaged and we are less strong. The screen meant to keep out the irritations now ripped, shredded and allowing passage for that which was meant to be kept out.
At one point, the inside handle on the door broke off. Simply snapped off into my hand, the attachments meant to hold it in place sheered away. How often, as we do our best to navigate life, does important parts seem to simply sheer off? We are left holding something meant to secure us in our place and purpose. The door still worked, it simply didn’t latch in place. We, even with parts missing, still work, but with less efficiency. We are still fulfilling our purpose, though not as well.
There is a small adapter strip across the base of the door that is supposed to close a gap between door and floor. The screws meant to hold it in place long gone. I have no idea how many toads and small birds we have had to remove from the house that have used that gap as access to the indoors. How many, have that small gap in their life, whether physical, mental, emotional, that allows access to who we are? How often has something, a bad habit, a misguided thought, a wrong emotion, slipped in and caused problems? How many times, have we had to chase down that invader and remove it before greater damage is done?
A door, being a door meant to open and allow passage, has hinges. This door which is designed with four hinges, currently only the bottom hinge still works. The others have broken apart in the course of a couple weeks. The loss of support from the others leaving the remaining to be under extreme weight and pressure. All of us, whether we recognize and admit it, have support systems. Whether it is family, friends, coworkers, faith, or even strangers on the street. There is someone, who is going to support us in our purpose and mission. If we separate from that, we become less effective, we become less strong and capable of accomplishing what is intended. If and when, we are damaged and allow that hurt to cause us to draw away we lose support. If we allow the hurt to cause us to become secluded, we lose support. If we allow ourselves to build up defenses meant to protect ourselves but it blocks those around us, we lose support and begin to fall apart.
At the top of that door is appropriately called, a door closure. It is designed to pull a door closed slowly after opening. That too, is the only thing holding this door in place. While currently this is a form of support, its original intent was to close the door, a simple yet important part of the function of the door. The function of the door obviously being to allow entrance and exit of the house. Also to prevent unwanted entities access. When leaving the house, you don’t want a door left standing open for the world, whether it is people, animal or insect entrance. As people, even as we go about our purpose, we do need that method of closure to prevent the unwanted entrance. You need to have a way to prevent the wayward thoughts and feelings access to the person you are. You need to protect your strength as you go about your intended activities.
Obviously this door is dirty. My house sits in a rural area on a dirt road. Carolina dust and red clay will cover anything and everything over time. Sometimes, like now, as life has me occupied elsewhere, I have not been able to clean away the dust and spiderwebs. As we live, as we strive to accomplish, there will be times when we get dirty. There will be times when the grim of life will drift over and hide the beauty that is who we are. And we are all beautiful. The dust, is not a sign of laziness, but a sign that we live, we work, we are busy taking care of our purpose. There will be times, when there are more important things than looking pretty.
That door has been there for maybe fifteen years, maybe more. It has served its purpose and even with damage and wear, has done well. Time though, is always the enemy. Time and use will wear anything down. Even people. In our life, we face much, some more than others. There are many different ways that time can wear us down and wear us out. We can take care of ourselves, our health and mental state. We can build an amazing network of friends and support. We can strengthen our faith and place our trust there. In the end though, there will always be an end to everything. Whether it is a door, or a life. The important thing is that we spend our life, doing the best that we are able to accomplish the purpose we are given. To live the journey of life as the grand adventure it is, even with and in spite of the storms and struggles.