Thursday, 17 October 2013


We Clarke brothers seem to attract crazy situations!  Take our youngest brother, Chris.  As an apprentice antique dealer he had lodgings on a busy London road. It was a dark cold winter morning; it was his turn to bring in the two bottles of milk, left outside on the door step.   Reluctantly he hauled himself out of bed and ventured down the stairs. Anxious to get back into the warmth as quickly as possible, he flung open the front door, stepped outside and grabbed the milk bottles. He consoled himself with the thought of soon being rewarded with a hot mug of coffee. After sacrificing the comfort of his warm bed he would have earned it!

But that was not to be. Horror of horrors! Chris, was as bad –or as good -as his twin brother bloggers. If anything crazy could happen to one of us it usually did.  That was certainly true of Chris, when he went to bring in the milk.  As he stepped outside he pulled the door shut behind him -something he did instinctively, when going into town.   But not a good idea that morning. To his alarm the door locked behind him –leaving him out in the cold. Not even our brother Chris was in the habit of keeping the front door key in his pyjama pocket!  Aghast, there he stood, shivering in his thin nightwear, his bare feet freezing in the frost on the main road pavement. He’d locked himself out of his warm home.  How he longed to get out of the cold; more than ever he needed that hot cup of coffee!  As he froze, passers-by eyed him suspiciously. What was this idiot doing standing on a main road and wearing nothing more than thin pyjamas on a cold winter morning? More important, what was Chris to do? 
 Knock on the door, of course, and hope that one of his fellow lodgers would wake up and let him in, out of the cold.  Chris wasn’t so stupid as to be too proud to ask for help.   His desperately cold situation forced him to admit that he couldn’t cope by himself.  Only when he’d swallowed his pride and sought assistance was he able to return to the warmth of his home.
 Chris’ predicament got me thinking.  If we commit serious sin we leave the warm love of God’s home; we pull the door behind us. We lock ourselves out from Him, in the cold isolation of a godless world.  We don’t have the key to open the door and return to God.  As long as we stubbornly refuse to admit our helplessness and cling to our proud independence we won’t be able to return home.  As long as we refuse admit our dire situation we won’t see any need for God.  We won’t turn to Him for help. 
This refusal to face up to the truth about God and ourselves is what we mean by the sin against the Spirit of Truth.  Such self-deception prevents us facing the truth about ourselves –we need His help; the truth about God –He can open the door for us; He wants to welcome inside –if only we will have the humility to knock.   But once we do, He eagerly flings open the door and welcomes us into the warmth of His love and mercy.  Jesus urges us, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,” (Matt. 7.7).
Then it occurred to that we can be the ones who keep the door closed and leave Jesus out in the cold.  We don’t want Him to disturb our cosy, comfortable lives.  So He stands at the door and knocks; He waits patiently for us to open up to Him and make Him welcome. In the Book of Revelation we read, Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me,” (Rev. 3. 20).  
Jesus respects our freedom too much to drag us into His life or to force His way into ours.  If we want to enter His life and meet Him we must have the honesty to recognize our desire for Him, our need for His help.  We must knock and ask for His assistance.  If we want Him to enter our lives we must listen for His knock and open to Him.  
Meeting God is quite simple.  It’s all about our knocking and asking God to open up to us, His knocking and asking us to open up to Him!  Knock, knock –that’s the only way to eternal happiness with God!
Isidore O.P.


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