Does God open and close doors?

by Rod Smith

“Do you think that God opens and closes doors for people?” asks a close friend. 

I’m so glad to hear how well you’re doing.

Now to your question:

Women and men open and close doors for each other in many ways all over the world and it is therefore a convenient metaphor to apply to God.

I’m not so sure that God “operates” on quite the same plane, is quite so transactional, and impersonal. I think the idea is dangerously Anthropomorphic (that’s not the exact word I need but it’ll work for now). The metaphor is hard to escape, given that it’s such a widely held belief, I think it limits our understanding of God’s willing and intimate and vibrant connection with each and all humans, if we recognize it or not.

Doors do close. And open. Sometimes doors slam shut. On occasion a closed door needs a bulldozer while some ought to be forever sealed shut. Wisdom is knowing the difference. Wisdom is appreciating that things change: an open door today may need demolishing next year.

The problem with attributing all this to God can reduce us to anxious lab rats trying to avoid getting doors slammed on our tails or in our faces. God is too loving and kind for life to be an endless quest of chasing opening or closing elevator and other doors.

God is at one time, while building God’s Kingdom, Ultimately Intimate and Dangerously Loving while Equally close and involved in matters historical, political, and geographical.

Nothing, absolutely nothing takes God by surprise except when we, you and I, embrace and live to the best of God’s Empowerment, the Counter-Intuitive Gospel. It takes even God by surprise when we actually Love our enemies and embrace the Stranger and don’t just preach about it. Preaching drones on, and on but actions of Love and Acceptance and the Embodiment of Love in unexpected places gets God’s attention.

You are where you are and are intimate with whom you are intimate in a family as the result of Divine Courage – yours and God’s and mine (I was there if you recall) and the host of friends and family who all rejoiced with you on that beautiful day.

And, what a day it was. 

Doors didn’t open and close, continents tipped and nations conspired to bring you and your Blessed husband together.

I know.

I was there.

Before the beginning of your profound discovery of each other I was there and watched it all unfold and was regularly caught quite off-guard by the sheer beauty of your mutual discovery of each other.

You brought each other to greater life. You resurrected each other to life more beautiful and challenging and annoying than each of you had previously known. And it was nerve wracking and magnificent to witness, and, I’m sure, to experience, and continue to experience.

Open and close doors?

No, I think rather God moves mountain ranges of doubt and fear and replaces them with the quality of courage you both displayed when you said “I do” (less than a meter from me). At that moment a continental shift occurred and made you one and then over time made you many and then made you one and then many and on and on to all be more beautiful now – including your fabulous children of course – than when you said “I do” and you were already beautiful then, too!

Now, your question and visiting these memories has made me cry.


Unrelated picture —— Nate will be 21 in a few weeks!

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