A Knock on the Door
Josh walks through the door of his home after school hoping for someone to love him enough to see him and care he is there. His mom is in the kitchen getting ready for dinner, dad is watching TV, and his brothers had no time for their youngest sibling.
He walks into the kitchen, hungry and tired. “Can I have something to eat?”
“No, wait ‘til dinner.” Mom looked at him and sneered, “Your jeans are ripped. I’m not buying you new ones.”
He looked down, staring at his knees peeking out from the holes in his jeans. It wasn’t his fault. Jimmy pushed him as they were walking home from school, and he fell. His hands were scraped too, but he knew better than to tell his mom and earn her anger. She would still blame it on him and not Jimmy.
Slowly he turned around and walked out of the kitchen down the hallway to the room he shared with his brother. As he pushed on the door to enter the room, it was slammed in his face.
“Get out! I’m busy and I don’t want you in here making noise – you’re always around! I hate sharing a room!” His brother banged his fist on the other side of the door to emphasize his point.
Where was he supposed to go?
He walks back out to the living room, sits on the couch and places his backpack at his feet. Sometimes just being quiet is easiest. He pulls out his books to study and stares at the pages. It is hard to concentrate when he is so tired, and his hands hurt.
There’s a knock on the front door. He watches as his Mom walks over and opens the door to a man holding a couple of books, a hat, and a piece of paper.
“Ma’am, I’m the Pastor at the church just down the road. Do you mind if I come in and speak to you and your husband for a minute? I just want to invite you to a little gathering we are having this weekend.”
“You can come sit for a bit, I guess. We are just getting ready for dinner.” Mom and Pastor came and sit in the living room. Dad turns off the TV. Josh doesn't remember ever seeing the TV off.
The adults start talking and Josh listens. He listens as Pastor tells a story about a man who came to earth to love people. Who loved people so much he died so others could live. Josh tries to pay attention to his homework, but he can't help but think this conversation is too important to miss. He wants to learn more.
Pastor finished talking with his mom and dad and then, after leaving a book on the table, invites everyone in the family to his church on Sunday night where they can all learn more about the man Pastor was talking about. The man named Jesus.
After closing the door behind Pastor, his mom laughs. “I ain’t going to that church.” Dad laughs along with her and turns the TV back on.
The front door seems more significant now, just because someone like Pastor walked through it to talk to them. Could there be something to the story Pastor told? Josh stares at the front door, his mind keeps replaying the words, "Jesus is God's son. Jesus loves you. Jesus died. For YOU." Josh begins to think if it’s important enough to go to someone’s house and talk about a man who saved the world, then maybe the story is true? Could someone like this Jesus really love him? Josh wants to learn more.
Sunday comes and Josh decides he is going to church. His family sees nothing worthwhile in the story the Pastor told, but Josh can't get the words out of his mind. "Jesus died. For YOU." He has to know more. No one in his family will care if he walks down the street to the little church to learn more.
Josh leaves his house after dinner and walks the mile down his street and around the corner where the little church sits in a dirt parking lot. Cars are driving into the parking lot, and moms and dads and other kids he sees at school are walking up the steps into the church building. Josh hesitates. He didn't think about other people being here. Now he's not so sure this is good idea.
"Hey there!" Josh looks up the steps of the church and sees Pastor waving at him from the door. "Would you like to come in? Come on - we have food!" Well, that did it. He is definitely hungry. He's always hungry.
Josh runs up to the stairs and stands in front of Pastor, who has a smile on his face and his hand out to shake. "Come on in, we are about to start in a bit. You can sit wherever you want."
Josh sits in a pew at the very back of the church. He listens, he learns, and he eats some amazing food. And at the end of the night, Josh knows he is loved. That night changes everything.
“The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also that honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then shall I be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Today our Noisy Narratives' podcast is interviewing Larry Megason, Pastor of Senior Adults and Pastoral Care. Larry talks about his journey to knowing the Lord and how God reached his soul through a knock on his family's front door.