By Sam Shoemaker
I stand by the door. â€¨I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out. â€¨The door is the most important door in the world - â€¨It is the door through which men walk when they find God.â€¨ There is no use my going way inside and staying there,â€¨ When so many are still outside and they, as much as I, â€¨Crave to know where the door is.â€¨ And all that so many ever findâ€¨Is only the wall where the door ought to be.â€¨ They creep along the wall like blind men,â€¨ With outstretched, groping hands,â€¨ Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,â€¨ Yet they never find it. â€¨So I stand by the door.â€¨â€¨
The most tremendous thing in the world â€¨Is for men to find that door - the door to God.â€¨ The most important thing that any man can do â€¨Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping handsâ€¨ And put it on the latch - the latch that only clicks â€¨And opens to the man's own touch.â€¨â€¨
Men die outside the door, as starving beggars die â€¨On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter.â€¨Die for want of what is within their grasp.â€¨ They live on the other side of it - live because they have not found it.â€¨â€¨
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,â€¨ And open it, and walk in, and find Him.â€¨ So I stand by the door.â€¨â€¨
Go in great saints; go all the way in -â€¨ Go way down into the cavernous cellars,â€¨ And way up into the spacious attics. â€¨It is a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.â€¨ Go into the deepest of hidden casements,â€¨ Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.â€¨ Some must inhabit those inner roomsâ€¨ And know the depths and heights of God,â€¨ And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.â€¨ Sometimes I take a deeper look in.â€¨ Sometimes venture in a little farther,â€¨But my place seems closer to the opening.â€¨So I stand by the door.
â€¨â€¨There is another reason why I stand there.â€¨ Some people get part way in and become afraid â€¨Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them;â€¨ For God is so very great and asks all of us.â€¨ And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobiaâ€¨ And want to get out. 'Let me out!' they cry.â€¨ And the people way inside only terrify them more. â€¨Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled. â€¨For the old life, they have seen too much:â€¨ One taste of God and nothing but God will do any more. â€¨Somebody must be watching for the frightened â€¨Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,â€¨ To tell them how much better it is inside.â€¨ The people too far in do not see how near these areâ€¨ To leaving - preoccupied with the wonder of it all. â€¨Somebody must watch for those who have entered the doorâ€¨ But would like to run away. So for them too, â€¨I stand by the door.
â€¨â€¨I admire the people who go way in. But I wish they would not forget how it wasâ€¨Before they got in. Then they would be able to helpâ€¨The people who have not yet even found the door.â€¨Or the people who want to run away again from God.â€¨You can go in too deeply and stay in too longâ€¨And forget the people outside the door.â€¨As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,â€¨Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there,â€¨But not so far from men as not to hear them,â€¨And remember they are there too.â€¨â€¨
Where? Outside the door -â€¨ Thousands of them. Millions of them.â€¨ But - more important for me -â€¨ One of them, two of them, ten of them.â€¨ Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.â€¨ So I shall stand by the door and wait â€¨For those who seek it.â€¨â€¨
I had rather be a door-keeperâ€¨. So I stand by the door.