Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Oaken Door

She stands, pounding on the thick, rounded, oaken door with both fists. She pounds some more and then more again. It does not open. No one cares. She’s all alone.

Three look down. “Why don’t we open it for her? We say, ‘Ask! Seek! Knock!’ but she’s been doing this for years and the door stays closed.”

“It’s not yet time.”

“Not yet time? She’s lived more than half her life. When?”

“Watch!”

The little girl sits on the unfinished wooden stairs, away from the adults, holding a book she treasures but cannot read. She imagines the stories of the pictures, fills them with herself and wonders.

“She is so peaceful in her hiding place. But look! Someone is angry. He is grabbing the book from her and sending her outside. That’s not right! She’s not bothering anyone. Why take it?”

Unseen, but deeply felt, a giant eagle swoops to the little girl, grabs her chest with its talons and takes her organs as it flees. The Three can hear her thoughts: “I’m not allowed to want things. Anything that’s precious is taken away. I try to be perfect but it does no good. I’m not wanted. I don’t matter. Why won’t someone love me?”

“She’s pasting a sweet smile on her face for the adults but she’s torn apart, longing for a smile inside too.”

“She’s a brave little one, to be sure.”

The Three watch the year before. The little girl is excited. A baby has come to the family, a brother for her to shower with love and smother with kisses. As she does so, rough hands take him away.

“She never sees her brother again, does she?”

“No. He’s sent to another family far away.”

“But, but....”

“I know. The pain is unbearable for her; for her mother too. She’s afraid she will be next if she’s not good enough.”

They listen to her thoughts as they echo through time and space: “I have to perform. I can’t just be. When I’m not perfect, nobody likes me or wants me.”

She who pounds on the door watches as the little girl is sucked into a black hole. She sees the presence of the Three. They should be enough, she knows, but the little girl and the woman together scream in deafened silence, “It’s not enough! I want real people to love and care and hold and want me!”

“I can’t stand this! Can’t we do something?”

“Yes. Watch!”

Quietly and unseen, the One above all stands behind she who’s at the door, wraps his arms around her and holds her close. He holds her closer still, until his body envelopes hers, arm for arm and leg for leg. This time, unseeing, she knows. Though the door stays closed and the pain persists, as she is enveloped, the burden lightens; when she moves away, the burden grows. She can wait for the door to open. To wait brings glory to the One who holds her as a glove.