“Hope opens doors where despair closes them” (Anonymous).

IT’S ONE OF THE FINEST THINGS IN LIFE TO BE A PERSON WHO OPENS DOORS FOR OTHERS. And no, we don’t mean physical doors, although the courtesy involved in doing that old-fashioned deed is a mighty fine gesture in itself. The doors we want to think about in today’s reading are doors of opportunity. When we are instrumental in giving hope to someone, and perhaps even assist them in pursuing their hopes, we’ve engaged in a powerful act of blessing.

One thing, at least, is certain: we can’t be door-openers for those around us if we don’t keep hope alive within ourselves. If we give in to the crushing forces of despair, we’ll get to the point where we don’t believe that anything anybody does is going to make any difference for good in the long run. It takes a kind of courage that could almost be described as stubborn and defiant to maintain hope in the face of discouragement. But when we do this and keep the fires of hope burning, we do something that’s extremely valuable to those who know us. When they’ve lost hope, we owe it to them to maintain hope for them and hold the doors open that they’ll need to pass through.

Graham Greene once made the comment, “There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Can we not take that thought and make use of it in our relationships as adults? Very few of us can say that we turned out to be the people we once hoped we might be. But life continues, does it not? And this may strike you as an unusual thought, but I want you to consider that you have it within yourself to help those around you to reopen the doors of their childhood dreams. You can be a rekindler of hope.

But there is one last thing to think about: not only can we aid others in passing through doors of opportunity, we can also open the doors of our own hearts to them. And in the end, these are the doors whose opening may be the most welcome. To live in this world is to be a traveler. We’re all on a journey, and the road grows long. How glad we are to meet those whose hearts are like a wayside inn, with the doors open and a gentle voice saying, “Come in and be refreshed.”

My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely flung.
(Theodore Roethke)

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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