Stay Near The Door…

Playing Dress-Up...So Beautiful

Thank you so much for all of your prayers for our family. We are all back to 100% and healthy as can be. 39 days (or less) until we welcome baby Jeremiah into our arms. We are chugging along full steam and awaiting the spring thaw! The days are already getting longer!!! For a cute video of Lina, click here!!!

BUBBLES!!!

We heard a great message at church this weekend and knew that we needed to share it. The Holy Spirit encouraged, challenged, and convicted us all the way through. Part of the reason that it impacted us as much as it did is because it resonates with the message and heartbeat of our home church in Sparks, NV. The mission statement of Summit, as many of you know, is Love God, Love People, Serve Others. There is also an underlying pulse to encourage every Christian to be intentional with the relationships that they have with others. Whether it be at the workplace, the neighbor next door, the cashier at the grocery store, or the parents of your child’s friend. We make the most of every opportunity and do our best to share the light of the Gospel and the love of Christ with others.

The message this weekend centered around Matthew 9:9-13. Jesus calls Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him. Matthew gets up and follows Jesus immediately. Then, Jesus goes to eat at Matthew’s house and there are a number of “sinners” who are eating with Jesus. The Pharisees are outraged that Jesus would eat and associate with all of these “sinners.” In verses 12 and 13, Jesus replies, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do…For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

It is easy for me, once I have tasted the goodness of God’s grace, to forget what it was like to not know Christ; to not know that my sins are forgiven. I forget that I am a sinner and I am no better than anyone else. I often get so comfortable with my “found-ness” that I also forget about those who are lost; those who are missing from the body of Christ. It is challenging to think about reaching out to others and making an effort to build relationships with people who do not know or fully grasp the good news about Christ. Moving to Michigan in order to pursue a career as missionaries does not exempt us from reaching out to our neighbors. Moving overseas does not exempt us from pouring our lives into others and sharing Christ with them.

One of the most profound aspects of the message was a poem by the Reverend Canon Samuel Moor Shoemaker, Jr. The poem is called “So I Stay Near The Door.” The premise is that the author has made a conscious effort to stay near the entrance to salvation in order to help those on the outside find the door; find Christ. It would be possible for him to venture further in and explore all the deep things of God and theology, and there is nothing wrong with this, but the author would rather focus his efforts on helping those outside find their way in. We too wish to stay near the door…

SO I STAY NEAR THE DOOR

By the Reverend Canon Samuel Moor Shoemaker, Jr.

I stay near the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world–
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men,
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it – – –
So I stay near the door.
The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door–the door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch–the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
Men die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter–
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it–because they have found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him – – –
So I stay near the door.
Go in, great saints, go all the way in–
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics–
It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, or sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening – – –
So I stay near the door.
There is another reason why I stay there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;
For God is so very great, and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia.
And want to get out. Let me out! they cry.
And the people way inside only terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
For the old life, they have seen too much;
Once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving–preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them too,
I stay near the door.
I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply, and stay too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.
Where? Outside the door–
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But–more important for me–
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
For those I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
I had rather be a door-keeper . . .
So I stay near the door

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One thought on “Stay Near The Door…

  1. I was unable to view the baby’s video, guess I can’t everything on a 3g! But I always enjoy the photos! You are one lucky guy to have two beautiful gals in your life! Thank you for the poem too!

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