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Doors—Every day we open and close them, seldom noting their materials, their purpose their mechanisms: hinged, folding, sliding, rotating up and over, some with locks and some without. Perhaps with the advent of consciousness came doors: for specific rituals, for protection of homes from enemies or predators, and for so much more. Crossing their threshold alters energy, either positively or negatively.

Even tomb builders in the Nile Valley fashioned hieroglyphs of single and double doors to cordon off sacred space for the grieving. In later centuries, ornamental doors were hung on mosques, monasteries, cathedrals, and temples, bespeaking their mysteries within. From a first century AD estate in Pompeii, a set of Roman folding doors is exhibited in the Naples Archeological Museum. We could go on and on.

Many view their front door as sacred. Above mine is taped a medal of St. Benedict to ward off those with whom I’ve no business.

Yet, there is another door closer to the home we live in—the door to our hearts; its challenge is to pause before opening it to who or whatever attracts us. With instincts activated, discernment is critical. In the in-between space, questions surface: Are lesser motives involved? Is neediness demanding to be satiated? Who will benefit? What will I learn if I act? Or give in? Perhaps “No”—the closed door—is the wisest response when clarity is an issue. Such practice deepens humility and opens the psyche to spiritual guidance, without which we stagnate. 

Thus we thrive in our flawed humanness and bring our unique gifts to fruition among others—often behind closed doors.

It finally happened! Yesterday, two speckled white eggs filled the nest outside my study window; in their place today, bob three naked chicks patched with gray down, their yellow beaks splitting with hunger, awaiting insects caught by their cardinal father; their mother keeps guard on a lower branch of the viburnum shrub, the afternoon sun shadowing its green leaves. For the next two weeks, frequent feedings will feather out the chicks and enable them to eat parts of berries or seeds softened by their parents.

Similar drama is enacted all over the world, the replication of the Genesis story: On day five, God created every winged bird…blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life. It is precisely this unbroken chain of life that heartens the weary. Often when I used to walk in the nearby woods, a bird trill would seize my imagination and transport me to the wordless realm of the Sacred. A later blog told the story.

Never before this cardinal family appeared in my viburnum shrub, had I observed their instinctual caring, how it fosters fresh life with darting colors. It’s like Creator God orchestrated this event for up-close learning in my present circumstances—A more than timely lesson for me to assimilate.

And if Creator God set all this in motion what have we to fear?

 

                       In the shadow of your wings, I will sing your praises, O Lord. Psalm 63:7

 

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