Do you ever hear a knock or a ring at the door and try to ignore it because you look like a hot mess? I must admit, I do this a lot. Especially since we’ve been getting settled into our new house. My personal appearance has been the last thing on my mind. I’ve been embarrassed for anyone to see the house or myself because both of us were looking pretty rough. Last Thursday, my house was not too terribly messy, but I was very substandard in my personal presentation. I had on my strawberry shortcake pajama bottoms (embarrassing admission for a 28 year old), my big baggy gray Liberty Sweatshirt and caaaarazzzzzy looking hair just thrown up on my head with no particular commitment to style. Not to mention- no make up. I was sick and feeling pretty puny with my sinus infection. The only strength I had was to drag myself out of bed and onto the couch to partake in some serious chick flick ingestion. Then it happened. The doorbell rang. The dog barked. And I was left in a quandary- should I answer looking like this or not?
So, what did I do? I tiptoed over to the door so I could take a look out the peep hole to see who it was. I could have gotten away with it if our house weren’t so full of creaky floors and if we didn’t have a mail slot in our door to let the sound escape. As I peered out the tiny little hole, I saw a woman that I believed to be our next door neighbor. We had not met yet. While I was standing there trying to figure out what to do, she rang the bell again. So, I brushed myself off and took a deep breath to face my humiliation from the way the I looked.
I opened the door and she said, “Hi, Emily, I’m Ella! Oh no…is this a bad time?” Oh my. What a first impression I was making. “At least I have an excuse about how I look this time,” I thought to myself. I explained that I was sick and going to the doctor that afternoon and was so sorry that we were meeting with me looking so horrible. She responded by saying, “Oh, honey, that’s my uniform around the house too. I’m just so sorry you are sick. I wanted to come finally introduce myself because it is such a beautiful day that I just knew you’d be out.” I really don’t know if I have met a nicer person on the planet. We chatted a few more minutes, agreed that we would get together soon, and off she went back next door. Off I went to survey myself in the mirror and see how bad it really was. I looked for a rock to crawl under, but couldn’t find one big enough.
A little while later, I got to thinking. Ella reminded me of another unexpected knock on my door that I received back in 1988. It’s from the same neighbor many of you have received a knock from and had the choice as to whether you would open the door or not. It was from Jesus. You see, more often than not, Jesus shows up and rings our doorbell without warning- no matter what we look like or what condition our home is in. If we are smart enough to at least sheepishly open the door, He says to us, “Oh, don’t worry, I’ve worn what you have on too. I’m so sorry you are sick. I just wanted to stop by and meet you to let you know that I’m right beside you- ready to become your friend. Don’t worry. I’ll come back, all I need you to do is to open the door.”
The thing is, once you’ve met Jesus, you plan on looking better the next time you see Him because you want to look more like Him and less like the sick, sloppy looking person you were when He first met you. Your embarrassment turns into a catalyst for changing the way you once were. Next time I see Ella, I’m planning on looking my best because of how nice she looked. Jesus beckons us to come out and enjoy the beautiful day that should already be drawing us out of our dark, lonely places that we call home. He shows up to tell us about what He has in mind. If you’re sick- no worries- He will heal you and get you out into the healthy life He intends for you to have. The best part is, you’ll have a new buddy to walk down the sidewalk with while partaking in your unique place in the beautiful world He has created that lies just beyond your doorstep. Maybe Ella and I will become walking buddies too. Guess I’ll only find out if I step beyond the threshold of my own front door.