I am sorry I ran from you.
I am still running, running from that knowledge,
that eye, that love from which there is no refuge.
For you meant only love, and love, and I felt only fear, and pain.
So once in Israel love came to us incarnate,
stood in the doorway between two worlds, and we were all afraid.
~Annie Dillard in Teaching a Stone to Talk
Some doors in our lives remain forever closed and locked. No key, no admittance, no way in, no way out. A locked door means no choices need be made.
If there is a choice and I’m unsure of what I should decide, I tend to run scared.
When the key is handed to me, the locked door becomes an invitation. I now must make a choice, even if the choice is to do nothing.
Do I lose the key and stay put where things are at least familiar?
Do I knock and politely wait for the door to be answered?
Do I simply wait for the moment it happens to open, take a peek and decide whether or not to enter?
Or do I boldly put the key in and walk through?
The choice to be made is as plain as the key resting in my trembling hand.
When I approach, drawn to the mystery, the door opens to invite me in.
For unto us a child is born, a Son is given.
He is the threshold between two worlds, the unlocking love that allows us to cross over finally throw away the key.
Villagers all, this frosty tide,
Let your doors swing open wide,
Though wind may follow, and snow beside,
Yet draw us in by your fire to bide;
Joy shall be yours in the morning!
Here we stand in the cold and the sleet,
Blowing fingers and stamping feet,
Come from far away you to greet—
You by the fire and we in the street—
Bidding you joy in the morning!
For ere one half of the night was gone,
Sudden a star has led us on,
Raining bliss and benison—
Bliss to-morrow and more anon,
Joy for every morning!
Goodman Joseph toiled through the snow—
Saw the star o’er a stable low;
Mary she might not further go—
Welcome thatch, and litter below!
Joy was hers in the morning!
And then they heard the angels tell
‘Who were the first to cry NOWELL?
Animals all, as it befell,
In the stable where they did dwell!
Joy shall be theirs in the morning!’
~Kenneth Graham from Wind in the Willows “Carol of the Field Mice”