In Maracay, Venezuela where my family and I grew up, almost every neighborhood had a mid-sized grocery store. This was the place you would walk to daily, to buy fresh ingredients for dinner, or to pickup items to hold you over until the bi-weekly trip to the larger supermarkets. Interestingly, Chinese immigrants owned many of these mid-sized grocery stores. While the stores provided an essential service to the community, these immigrants were often mistreated and verbally abused. Yet, in the midst of this daily hostility the Chinese workers would always respond with respect and humility, gladly serving even the most belligerent of customers.
My family would frequent the local store. It seemed that we were some of the few non-Chinese customers that treated the owners with dignity and respect. As time went by, a deep friendship developed and we would often times be treated to snacks or authentic Chinese food as a token of gratitude for our friendship.
Over time, we learned why the Chinese immigrants were so friendly to everyone including the most obnoxious of people. One of their ancient philosophers taught, “every individual is like a door, you do not know what’s on the other side until it opens”. The respect, humility, and friendliness they displayed were daily attempts to open the doors in front of them to see and experience the world beyond.
Often times, when I read the passage that says, “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” (Revelation 3:20), I think of my Chinese friends at the neighborhood grocery store. They were willing to keep knocking and knocking hoping, perhaps longing for someone…anyone to open the door and allow them to come in for supper.
There are thousands of people around us everyday, with doors that may seem uninviting, but deep in their hearts they long for someone to keep knocking. I believe that it is through his followers that Jesus keeps knocking. So, even when people push us away, let’s be willing to keep knocking with love and grace…you never know what lies beyond the door.
Find 3 doors and lovingly knock until it they open and let Jesus in! You may be amazed at the miracles you experience beyond the doors.