So, I’ve got a child living with me now. A six year-old. She’s not my child. She’s a beautiful child though, just got a few bad habits that need breaking. Nevertheless, her name is Izara. Izara tends to knock on my bedroom door a lot..asking for various things: to sing a song with me, to play, to read, to take her somewhere, to get a snack…the list goes on. Most of the times, I’m annoyed because I’ve never been so interrupted as I am now..I don’t know which is more scary – the thought that I may keep rejecting her incessant requests or that I will allow myself to be interrupted a million times for what, to me is, minor requests that are major to Izara. Major enough to knock on my door and I ask myself, ‘Doesn’t she get tired of coming across and knocking on the door?’
This is the nature of children apparently. They hardly get tired of being humble..because they know they need others. She knows she can’t quite get the knot on her laces untied, and I’ll help..or she knows she can’t cook her own meals just yet and her mother will make them for her. The point is it reminded me of Jesus’ request in Matthew 18: 1 – 3, that the greatest in the kingdom of God are those who humble themselves as children..not to mention he said, “Knock and the door shall be opened to you.” (Matthew 7: 7, 8)
Jesus, himself even lent himself in humble servanthood. He also stands at the door and knocks (Revelation 3: 19, 20). He initiated opportunities for rejection so many times. He handed Judas, his betrayer, a piece of bread in brotherhood at the final supper..knowing his plot to have him murdered. He washed the feet of Peter who he knew, and did warn, would deny him three(3) times.
Wow, that’s a big reality…knocking the door to the unknown or worse, rejection and disappointment. Note, just after Jesus says to knock and the door will be opened, in Matthew 7: 12, he says: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”. Wouldn’t it be great if everything you thought of receiving via relationships, you did those things to others. That’d be pretty rewarding and satisfying, wouldn’t it? What if we opened the door to give, rather than opening it to receive? What if exactly what we hoped was behind that door was what we gave when it was opened.
Of course, there are psychological barriers that you want to respect..you don’t want to go knocking the doors of all and sundry..get around some safe people, in safe relationships. I read* recently about what safe people look like. So, I’ll tell you some safe criteria for determining who is safe and who isn’t, yea?
• People who react to you in a different way than those who may have hurt and injure you before.
• People who, over time, have a loving track record. Does their walk match their talk?
• People who can be observed from some emotional distance. Take small risks in vulnerability before taking bigger risks.
• People with the ability to accept imperfections in others. This refers to the difference between those who love the outside and those who love the inner self.
• People who are no stranger to pain, yet are recovering.
• People who are aware of their own deficits. Those who know their unfinished parts are more likely to be safe with the unfinished parts of others.
• People who have truth without condemnation. It’s easier to entrust our weaknesses to those who love us, and who will “[speak] the truth in love”.
• People who have grace without license. Attaching to others who see God’s grace as leading to greater responsibility helps us to experience grace appropriately.
• People who bear good fruit in your life. Ask yourself if your relationship with this person has made you more or less loving and responsible.
Okay, I wish us both some happy knocking ahead. Peace out.
Book: “Hiding from Love” by Robert Townsend