An Open Door
By B.T. Gilligan
I am currently a pastor at Nixon United Methodist Church and one of the things I practice is that if I am in the office I am available as long as my door is open. This policy is a way for people to know they can stop by and say “hi,” or talk if they need something. This policy has also led to some interesting interactions with our preschool across the hall. It is an amazing program and frequently, the students are in the hall as they transition.
One day a young student walked into my office and asked me about my job and what I like most about it. Another time, a younger sibling was waiting with their parent at pick-up time and wiggled away running straight to my office. Other times students have given me drawings or snacks. At the beginning of the year the teachers would leave the classroom door open but they started to close it because I kept making faces at the students from my desk. Other times I am invited to read stories to the class or hear how they have memorized their latest Bible verse and the hand motions that go with it. Every day as the kids leave they waive to me, and it is the highlight of my day.
What has happened is that my open-door policy has proven wonderful; not just to the adults, but to our students who are growing and learning. And while I won’t presume to be God, I have often wondered if this is how God looks at us as well - with an open-door policy - so we can talk about our day or our struggles, or just waive as we go about our day. 1 Peter 5:7 says that we can cast all our cares on God because God cares for us. In other words, Peter confirms that God has an open-door policy.
We do not have a God who is distant or ambivalent; but is near to us, and wants to hear about our day, our struggles, our joys, our hopes, our worries, and loves to hear the latest Bible verse we memorized with hand motions. Whether we spend hours in prayer, or find ourselves rushing through a grocery list of things we need help with, God hears it all and just listens.
So then, as we start 2018, may we know that God is near to us, listening to our giggles and snack time prayers; and has a door that is always open to us to hear about the big, or even small events of life.