Just outside the door of our hearts sits people who long and need and deserve to be on the other side of that door. The irony, the sad bit, is that we think we have allowed them in.
I’ve seen it in public, that person who tries to fade into the background and not be noticed. If someone were to bother to take a closer look, they would see the fear and the hunger in their eyes. I looked and what I saw at the library was a girl trying hard to be good and trying not to get in the way. Watching her pace back and forth to the door to look for a ride revealed her anxiety, her helplessness. Thirty minutes passed. As less threatening as possible, I asked the girl if she needed something to eat or drink while she waited. She vigorously shook her head with a negative response; embarrassment stole over her at being caught in her predicament, at being noticed. After an hour of watching her, I approached a member of staff and relayed my observations. When staff gave her a bottle of soda and a pack of crackers, she scurried out to eat in a van–in 90 degree Fahrenheit weather–with the windows rolled up. Tag teaming with the staff member revealed that the girl was just 11 years old as we got her to return to the air-conditioned comfort of the building. The mother left her there while the mother went for an appointment at the local clinic.
I’ve seen it in churches, that person who sits dejectedly with hanging head and trembling shoulders. If someone were to bother to look closer, they would see the lack of hope and the loss of direction that often comes when life has simply been hell on earth. I looked and saw anger but deeper than the anger is the pain. I heard their story of trying and trying again to get up and walk after being run over by life. The broken bones and the failing limbs are simple obstacles to health and happiness, the two rights that every American claims. An arm around the shoulders may comfort those shoulders. A listening ear and words of wisdom just may help the person be understood and to understand the path of destruction chosen.
I’ve seen it in homes, that person who rigidly and doggedly faces every life event alone and secluded, though there be various and sundry family members within easy reach. If someone were to bother to look closer, they would see betrayal and perceived failure holding their spine upright and their head held high. I looked and saw a reason to hold my breath as the tears rolled silently down my face.
Just outside the door, there is someone waiting to be loved. Won’t you open the door and let them in?