Thereâ€™s a well-known painting of Jesus knocking on a door. Did I first see it in Sunday school or at home? Maybe both.
Regardless of when or where I saw it, I understood it from a childâ€™s perspective: Jesus would keep knocking until the person opened the door. Persistence. Commitment. Urgency. It was a good Sunday school lesson, almost as compelling as those happy paintings of children sitting on Jesus’ lap.
As an adult, I wonder more about the paintingâ€™s perspective.
If Iâ€™m the observer, Iâ€™m watching the Nazarene at work from my comfortable distance. Good for good old two-dimensional Jesus, I hope he gets that stubborn person inside to open up.
I can also easily imagine being on the inside, pretending the knocking is only branches clacking in the wind. Or itâ€™s those mean kids from next door, smacking baseball bats against a fence. I convince myself itâ€™s unsafe outside; itâ€™s smarter to stay inside. Iâ€™ll just turn up the TVâ€™s volume and drown the irritating noise.
The old painting was right about one thing: heâ€™s persistent. For me, Jesus is a defiant example challenging the part of me that prefers to let someone else do Godâ€™s work. Jesus is also a compassionate example nudging me to acknowledge where Iâ€™ve built walls between others and myself.
Jesus keeps knocking.