My morning prayer time is often very early, around 4am, in my hot tub on my back deck. Recently, Jesus spoke to my heart so clearly with this parable in its entirety that I had to climb out of the hot tub and run to the computer so that I could capture the story as my soul heard it that morning through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is longer than the usual Tuesday emails, but I was not the author-He was. I simply typed it up to share with you. I hope it means as much to you as it does to me. Please take the time to read it all and pray over it's message.
The Parable of the Broken Door
Remember a few years ago you had long searched for the perfect home in the mountains? One day you sat in the passenger seat as the realtor drove up a winding gravel road filled with pot holes and weeds towards a lone house on the very top of the mountain at the extreme edge of a cliff. At a glance, you could see the home was abandoned. It was unpainted and the shutters were falling off. The front porch was rotting and the door was broken.
The house was situated so that it completely obscured the view to the rear of the home. And due to the irregular shaped cliff's edge, there was no way to walk around the house. Getting to the back of the home required walking through the house. Of course, this meant entering through the rickety front door.
You asked yourself why the realtor brought you to this god-forsaken place as you crept up the unstable wooden steps. The broken front door squeaked as you eased it open just barely enough to enter the house. This house was clearly in horrible shape. Cobwebs and mice droppings were scattered throughout. Dust floated in the stale air. Peeling paint dripped from the walls.
As you walked to the back of the house you were bewildered. A bright light gleamed from outside the back of the home. And at the rear of the filthy living room you saw a majestic door made of rich mahogany and a leaded glass window cut so perfectly it seemed to amplify the light passing through it. You stepped out of the shabby house through this beautiful door onto the back porch.
Unlike the front, the back porch was in perfect shape. Freshly painted wood was bright white. Two warm and inviting rocking chairs faced east overlooking the cliff. A hint of evergreen was in the cool air. The view that was not visible from the front of the home was spectacular from the back porch. Gazing across the valley, the horizon stretched to eternity. The river below led to an impressive waterfall. Birds glided on the updrafts, and you could hear children laughing and church bells ringing. It was as if you looked over all of creation. In fact in that instance you wondered if you had caught a glimpse of God Himself. With no hesitation you told the realtor you would buy this house.
That was many years ago. Drawn by the perfect beauty of the back door and the brilliant light that streamed through it, you have spent years working on the main living spaces. You have painted, repaired, and arranged them so that guests may enjoy the view out the back of the house and experience the light and the beauty and the awe. As time has passed, the evidence of your hard work is beginning to show.
Yet, the front of the house still looks dreadful. Guests still have to drive up that same old pock-filled road overgrown with weeds. The front door is still broken and the landscaping neglected. You just have not taken the time to fix up the front because you know that what lies inside is far more important. That your guests have to enter through the broken door is somewhat discomforting, still you know the beauty of what is in store for them inside and out back.
Explanation of the Parable
Friends-we are the broken door! We are in need of repair. Perhaps our door only needs the hinges oiled. Perhaps it needs to be planed to fit the opening now that the house has settled over the years. Perhaps it has some rotted-out spots in need of putty, sanding and refinishing. No matter what it needs, it can be opened even in its broken condition.
The interior of the home is our heart, soul and mind. These are the areas we first need to repair to make them appealing to the guests we invite inside.
Our guests are those people we encounter every day. Everyone we meet in all of the environments in which we live-at home, at work, and in our community can see by our actions and our words what is in our hearts.
That magnificent, beautiful, and perfect back door is Jesus Christ our Savior. And the view from the back porch is the view of God. The only way we are able to get to God is through the door of Jesus Christ.
As I said, the glorious view is obscured completely unless one enters through the broken front door. Even though our door squeaks, has rotted spots and is out of square, people can still enter into our home and experience the Christ in us. Upon entering, our guests will experience the warmth and love inside. They will quickly see that you have situated everything in your home around the streaming light of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus is the door that leads to God.
Now comes the challenging part. We cannot, we must not, wait until the door is perfect before inviting others into our life to meet Jesus who dwells within. That we need to work on our door is true. The weathering and deterioration of the door is the sin in our life. The rain of selfishness, the wind of worldly concerns will always beat on our door. But if we wait for perfection, we will deny others the opportunity to meet Jesus. And it is through Jesus that we bring others to God. Jesus calls us as we are-broken-to be the door through which others can enter to meet Him.
Dear God, you are the creator of all of life's beauty. You are the great I AM. Jesus your Son is the perfect door through which we all must enter to get to you. Your Holy Spirit inspires us to clean ourselves inside first so that others can see You in us. Lord we are a broken door but we are the door which you created and the door through which you call others to encounter Christ. Please Lord let our door always be open and always lead others to you. Amen.
Feel free to forward this to as many friends as you want. Also, I love to hear from you. Click here to send me an email. Finally, past emails are archived at www.4thdayletters.com.