You got your front door, back door, side door and screen door. You got a storm door, trap door, closet door, secret door, barn door and service door. Then there’s bathroom door, revolving door, sliding door, automatic door, accordion door, store door, pet door, cabinet door, car door, church door, French door, Dutch door, swing door, fire door, garage door, open door, closed door, next door, Christian Dior, show-him-the-door and pompadour.
So many doors, so little time.
The humble door serves so many functions. Doors keep bugs and boogiemen out while keeping sweet smells and warmth for winter in. Doors offer privacy and quiet. Solitude when you need it, passageway for friends when you don’t. Doors allow you to sleep more peacefully and make love more comfortably. An open door invites you to come on in; a closed one requires a knock.
But, perhaps the main function of a door is to separate: one room from another, inside from outside. When you walk through a doorway, you are inevitably moving from one environment to another. One setting to another. One situation to another. One way of being to another.
You say you had a hard day at work; or you just get some bad news on your cell phone while you were at the store. Simply opening the door to your home, walking in and closing the door behind you can offer a sweet morsel of comfort.
You walk through a long, sterile, empty hallway. You stop at a door and knock. The door opens, a smiling face greets you and invites you into a room where there’s music, good smells, comfortable chairs and a drink waiting.
After a long trip with many frustrating delays, you check in to a hotel. You slide the plastic key in the door. It opens easily and closes behind you. Your drop your bag and collapse on the bed wearing your first grin of the day.
When you walk through a doorway, things change. In a very real sense, doorways are the passages from one world to another. One way of being to another. You don’t usually do in the bathroom what you do in the bedroom. Or vice-versa. You behave one way in your supervisor’s office and another in a department store. Doors separate those worlds. And doorways invite you to different worlds. Doorways are portals of transformation. Thresholds to other ways of being.
Picture forgiveness as a doorway. When you move through the doorway marked forgiveness, startling new worlds can appear on the other side. Likewise, the doorway of compassion. Stroll through that door and you’ll feel your situation turned upside down. Adventure is a doorway that lots of folks admire, but few walk through. Romantic love is a doorway that can take you to heaven or hell. Or both.
There are destructive doorways, of course. Doorways of addiction or abuse, doorways of shame or blame. Doorways of despair or worry. But, simply knowing that there are other doorways leading out of those rooms can offer a glimmer of hope.
Truthfully, you never really know what you will find on the other side of a door. Simply because it’s marked a certain way offers no guarantees. But one thing is certain: doorways are agents of transformation. Move through a doorway and life will be different. And, when you move through doorways marked “Kindness” or “Faith” or “Generosity” or “Love,” chances are, you’re gonna like your new digs.