What a wonderful old gate. My thought as I painted my dad’s favorite Bible verse onto an old wooden gate we are using in my daughter’s wedding. I wondered about the gate and who may have passed through it. Where did they come from? Where were they hoping to get to? I realized that the gate was not a “respecter of persons” (an old phrase meaning the gate did not discriminate or show favoritism toward anyone who passed through). And with each person who approached the gate two things occurred. First a choice was made to pass through the gate. And second, action was required to raise the latch for the gate to open.
The gate is not dissimilar to the door of Hope Clinic. If you have ever seen the “very large” front door on the house on Hayes Street you will realize quickly that for a person to pass through there is first a choice made to come to Hope Clinic and second, action is required to push open the door. To me, it is one of the bravest things I have seen someone do. And the door of Hope Clinic does not discriminate or show favoritism. It allows someone to move from a place of fear to a place of hope.
Our Lord speaks of a door in Matthew 7:7-8 (the same chapter that says we are not to judge) – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” The choice is to believe that the door leads somewhere hopeful. The action is to knock. And He who is the Way will open the door to any and all who would enter.
Somehow as I considered the imagery, that gate seemed just a little sweeter. Oh, and dad’s favorite verse painted on that gate, the verse that is written on his headstone in the cemetery of the small country church he pastored the last few years of his life, that verse is Philippians 2:3 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
How sweet is the Way that leads to Hope.
Robbin Holland, Hope Clinic for Women staff member, April 2012