You may think it unusual that I chose this picture, one I took while in Michigan last fall, for Theme #18 “Door”. Let me explain. Many words come to mind when I look at this picture: abandoned, shuttered, sad, weathered, lonely, dead, proud, statuesque (meaning attractively tall and dignified)….I could go on. Don’t you know that there was a time when this church was beautiful in her bright, white coat! Stately! Tall! Proud! And without doubt, those doors were the most important feature of this old church! Why? How else could the people enter?! Oh, if those old doors could just talk to us! What would they say? Would they speak of the wedding celebrations they’ve witnessed? Of the beautiful hymns of old, sung by folks from another generation who loved God? Of the pot-luck dinners held in the basement? Maybe these old doors would cut a joke or two about long-winded preachers or deacons that were meaner than snakes! Having said all that, though I obviously can’t say this with any degree of certainty, I believe the most precious of memories to these old doors would have to do with the cast of souls whom they greeted every Sunday morning. Perhaps many entered broken, lost, hopeless, and flawed (just like us!) but left through these very same doors with a spring in their step, joy in their hearts, peace that passes all understanding and a brighter outlook on life than they’d ever known before! Why? Because these doors ushered folks into a sanctuary, a safe haven, a place where burdens could be lifted and sins could be forgiven, a place where weary life-travelers could hear a message of hope and acceptance, about God’s love for them, of how Jesus, God’s Son, died on the cross for them and rose again and offers them eternal life (I will probably lose half my followers because of this post….but that’s OK)! Yes, these old doors could tell quite a story, I’m sure, if only they could speak. Why did this church die? I don’t know. Some might say, “Ah, who needs it?” But I’d rather think of it like this: there was so much joy and gladness and hope about this place, they had to leave this one, go across town, and build a bigger one!!