The Preacher has always left home decorating choices to me. He even tolerated the pink fireplace with the blue mantel, thankfully now decades behind us. So I didn’t tell him about the plan I recently had for the door at the end the boring hallway leading into the garage. That, I intended as a birthday surprise.
It took me hours to gather courage to start. But with every stroke of paint on the pristine white panels, I felt happier. Surely the Preacher, away for the morning, would like it too. As long as I’ve known him, he’d liked the colour I’d chosen. He’d picked out rubber shoes in that hue. Shirts. Hats. Coats (at least two, I recall). Even kitchenware.
On his return, he turned the corner toward the door. As the new colour slapped him in the face, he halted, incredulous. “RED?”
“It’s your favourite colour, I thought!”
“My GRANDFATHER’S favourite colour,” he said, as he turned to walk away.
Who knew? Not me. Nor the grandchildren, who recall him telling them often that red is his favourite colour. “Don’t YOU like it?” I asked.
“It’ll do,” he said. I know the man. He likes it.
Two weeks later, we tackled another door; together this time. No paint required, just tools, hardware and sweat.
I’d found the old beauty (wood, twelve glass panes, original brass hardware, gorgeous crystal knobs) in a ReStore outlet. $40, read the dangling tag. I stared at it a few seconds, then hauled it to the cash register. “Where’re we gonna put that?” the Preacher asked, as we loaded it.
“Top of the basement stairs,” I said. “It’ll open up the space a bit.”
The door waited years in our garage, surrounded by yard equipment, hoses, flowerpots and electrical cords. Everything but a car. When we moved to our current home, I offered it to our daughter. She liked it but wanted to know if we could store it till they were ready for it. We moved the door into our new garage. Soon, as before, it stood surrounded by yard equipment, hoses, flowerpots, electrical cords—and still no car. Months later, I called Amanda. “I’m keeping the door,” I said, “and I’m really going to use it.”
It took us most of the day, with rest stops. Now the door, possibly once the entry to a parlour in a heritage home, hangs just feet from the red one. When we enter the tiny storage/coat room behind it, it glides back, parallel to the wall, freeing several square feet of coveted space.
Our doors, wood and steel, lead to physical spaces here on earth. But Jesus spoke of a door leading to a heavenly home; and in the present, to joy and peace with God. Forgiveness. Protection of spirit. “I am the door,” he said. The door, not a door. “One door and only one,” children still sing in Sunday School, “and yet its sides are two. I’m on the inside, on which side are you?” Our answer reveals our destiny.