For the first time, I gaze at the ruins of the infamous Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. After many years of seeing pictures and hearing the courageous story of brave men like William Barrett Travis, I finally have the opportunity to see this amazing place for myself. Ruins. I've always had a fascinating with them. Because they depict a journey of the heart. A picture of the soul. I feel at home here. Broken walls with a meaningful story to tell. As I make my way around this fascinating historical place, one thing strikes me: the gates. The doorways. These massive things are everywhere. Once again, I am brought back to the fact that open and closed doors are images that portray the internal. Doors, gates, can either keep in or let out, depending on the intent of those using them.
For many years, the door of my heart shut in my deepest pain and kept out the light and love that it so desperately needed. Like the doors at the Alamo - those massive wooden panels that read: No Entrance. Don't come in. You are not welcome. Love is not welcome. Grace is not a guest here. Only pain. Only despair. Only darkness.
As the years have gone by, I find that my life resembles both that of these doors and the gate that was around the corner from them. As God enabled me to throw open the doors that long shut out the good, my life became more like the nearby gate with its doors thrust wide open. All are welcome. All is safe. All is well.
Interestingly enough, I have discovered God now using the shut doors to express a different message than before. Instead of the doors shutting in, they keep out. They are the doors to my past. The doors which say, "Don't live there anymore! Don't go back to where you once were! Step into the light of Grace and life! Walk through the open gates and take pleasure in the joyous courts of God!" Both entry/exit points are walled around by ruins. So too with my heart: I bear the affects of a life that has had its share of trouble. Of a faith that has been tested. But the doors are no longer shut. Grace has opened them. Love has spoken into the pain and poured healing balm over the gaping wounds. My doors welcome now. God has done this, and I give my every breath back to Him in thanks.