Years ago, someone came to see me requesting assistance. They wanted information that would help them with a disability claim. I remember that I turned around to my computer and stated to this person
“Just a minute, let me get this information. “
The individual responded by getting angry; and they got up and walked out of my office and slammed the door so hard that I thought it was going to come off of its hinges!
Three years later, the same individual returned to my door. The person again wanted the same information. We were able to talk about what happened before, and the individual told me that they felt slighted and disrespected when I momentarily turned by back to retrieve their information, and so they departed in the abrupt manner.
Closing doors can indicate that the person wants privacy, that they may want to complete their work without interruption. Again, closing doors in life can also signify the end of an era whether it be the end of a career, the end of a relationship, or ultimately the end of a human life.
Open doors, in contrast, exemplify the ability to move beyond what is known and secure and to venture out into the unknown. When you open the door, you are taking a risk. You don’t know what will lie on the other side-will you be received well or will you be rejected?
Jesus was certainly taking a risk when he entered Jerusalem. Would he be welcomed as a hero, a champion or would he receive a hostile reception from those who might have considered his message about the Kingdom of God as being threatening to their religious and political interests?
We all live and work within systems- be they family, religious, community, organizational or governmental. Some systems will be described as being open, meaning that information can be freely shared, that input and perspective is welcomed by those who are within a circle and those who are outside the circle.
Then again, there are closed systems. Here you have a “circle the wagons “ mentality. All information stays within the circle. There are no breaches of data to anyone outside the domain. No differing interpretation, perspective or recommendation is considered or tolerated by anyone from the outside.
Closed systems can breed people who also exhibit closed hearts and in turn will express closed lives.
The tragedy of Good Friday can be described as people who were never able to move beyond having closed doors, closed hearts and closed lives.
There will always be opportunities in life when we can choose either to be open or closed.
Closing the door suggests that things are final, that there is death, that the stone has been rolled to cover the sepulchre.
However, opening the door proclaims that there is new life, new information, new perspective, new opportunity that can be made known.
Metanoia, the Greek word for literally turning around and doing something different, can be an experienced reality for all of us.
Holy Week reveals instances where there is openness and closed reality. The events of this sacred story reveal the myriad emotions and desires of the human condition.
What will it be for you ?
Open or closed doors ?
Open or closed hearts ?
Open or closed lives ?
May we all choose open !
May it be so.