We like to think and so we sometimes say, “When a door closes, a window opens.” Sometimes we even attribute the action to God: “When God closes a door, God opens a window.” Whether we believe there is an invisible divine “hand” at work when our circumstances change or not, change is often difficult for us. And, in our better moments, we will strain to see any open avenue, even if it is not as comfortable for us to navigate.
So what does a closed door mean to us? A place or person is not available to us. A location or gathering requires peculiar access. Something or someone needs to be barricaded, protected, sheltered. A way is not open to us. John’s Gospel tells us that in the hours following the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples were fearful, hiding behind closed doors. Much to their surprise “Jesus came and stood among them.” (20:19b). Nothing could hold back Love seeking the beloved! He greeted them with customary words which under the circumstances took on new meaning: “Peace be with you.” Peace in the face of fear. Peace in the company of change. Peace because of the presence of the Prince of Peace.
Nice! We need that too, don’t we? And we have it, don’t we? Believing that we are held in those invisible divine hands scarred by the suffering of human experience through the changing ages, we may feel at peace. We are the beloved of God, sought after, encouraged, empowered and sent out! (John 20:21-22). Yes, a cherished hymn proclaims, “Because he lives, I can face tomorrow…” but perhaps the greater truth is that because Christ is alive we can face today before it becomes tomorrow! His presence with us and for us is the only key we need to open up avenues of life-giving grace!