Weekly Message from Rev. T. J.

I Got In

Me: “I just locked myself out Lol”

Friend: “Dude!”

Me: “I’ll get in”

Friend: “I think it’s time you hide a key outside or something”

[3 minutes later]

Me: “I got in”

This, you may be able to surmise, is not the first such conversation I’ve had with a friend. I’ve locked myself out of my house about a half dozen times. Usually, I’m texting, like this morning. Sometimes I’m rushing. But the same feeling washes over me whenever I do this. I can feel it ripple down my spine. It pulses and contracts my back so I’m looking up at the sun and gritting my teeth. You might think I’m grinning dopily into the center of our solar system if you happened to drive by.

I slid out a few of the glass panes in my living room windows and reached to the inside of the door. I could feel the inside lock with my finger tips, and I was able to move the stub in the center of the knob the quarter turn it needed to let me in. I realize I’ve just provided step-by-step instructions to anyone who cares to visit my apartment unannounced. But as a friend who showed me this technique said, “Everybody here knows you can do this.”

As I walked back into my home to fetch the less illicit way to enter the space—namely, my keys—I was stuck by the long-running agreement with my neighbors, that, to my knowledge, has only been broken one time, when I surprised one of my neighbors in my home and chased them down the street until they returned my belongings. But other than that, such a simple place to enter (no breaking, only entering required) has never been entered.

There is something sacred in that, even if only mediated by a fear of being caught and punished. Anyone can get in, but only one person in more than two years has ever done so without a key or an invitation. And the one person who did enter without permission likely needed something pretty badly if he was willing to risk crossing the sacred threshold of another’s home.

It makes me think of other places in my life that need a key or an invitation. It makes me think of what opening doors, even just in a limited way for our own spiritual home will look like. It makes me think about all the people who might want to enter: the key holders and others who easily make themselves at home.

I wonder most about the person who’s been waiting for a chance to come inside, perhaps longing, searching, yearning for something of value, something that will help them to make it through this world just a little easier, with just a little less pain or discomfort—the person who says “I’ll get in. I’ll get in. I’ll get in.” Then at last they tell their friend with a little bit of pride and a lot of relief, “I got in.” They’re easy to spot. If you drive by, you can see them looking up and grinning ear to ear, as if in praise of sensing for the first time what they’ve been searching for all their life.

And may it ever be so.
Rev. T. J.

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