Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hospitality (02/07/05)
TITLE: Waiting on Rachel's Porch
By Hope Horner
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I could turn the doorknob and open the door myself—it’s probably not locked. Even if it is, I’m sure I’m strong enough to knock it down. But I’m not going to sneak or force my way inside. That’s not me. No, I’ll just keep knocking. And hoping. And waiting.
I lift the knocker again and tap it a little louder this time. I wait again for several minutes. No answer. I move away from the door and turn to see a small, blue, Nissan with a glowing pizza sign strapped on the hood pull to the curb. A freckle-faced pizza-boy runs past me to the front door and knocks loudly.
“Pizza!” He yells.
Rachel swings open the door and with a huge smile on her face hands the young man a check. He shoves the pizza box in her direction, mumbles thank you, and bounds back to his car.
She opens the door for pizza, but not for me?
Last weekend, she opened the door to let in her friends to watch the Superbowl, but she wouldn’t let me in. They screamed at the TV for a few hours and then once it got dark, stumbled into the street to find their cars.
Today is Sunday, and as usual, here comes Rachel’s Mom after church. She’s dressed in pastels and her hair is perched on the top of her head like a small, black kitten. I smile when I see her. I know she’s trying to convince Rachel to give me a chance.
After she leaves a few hours later, I approach the door and knock again. To my amazement the door opens slowly.
“Hi.” Rachel says sheepishly, peeking one eye out from behind the door.
“Hello, Rachel.” My heart races. She opened the door! She gestures for me to come inside and I do so eagerly.
Large piles of dirty laundry litter the floor and a half-eaten pepperoni pizza sits limply in an open box on the coffee-table. The kitchen table is covered with what appears to be several month’s worth of mail and dishes are stacked precariously in the sink.
After we reach the middle of the living room, Rachel turns toward me, but doesn’t lift her head. “I am so sorry it has taken me this long to invite you in. It’s just that I have been so busy with other things and…” Her voice trails off and she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a crumpled tissue. “I admit I heard you knocking many times, but I was either afraid or too busy or, “ She hesitates, “Or I would just ignore you.” She slowly lifts her head and looks into my eyes searching them for anger. “My life is a total mess, not that you didn’t already know that. I mean, look around. My mom keeps talking about you and saying I really need to give you a chance. She said that you…”
“Rachel, shhhh…It’s OK. The past doesn’t matter anymore. I’m here now and I am always going to be here for you!” Her red eyes seemed soothed by the calm compassion in my voice.
“I am so glad you didn’t give up on me. I don’t know how to thank you.” My heart fills with joy at the sound of her words. Tears spill over on to her cheeks.
“My life is a mess, you sure you want to be in it?” She sniffs and wipes her nose. Her eyes scan my face for doubt, but all they find is hope. This is the moment I have been waiting for.
“Yes, I’m sure, Rachel. I love you.” I lean over the big pile of laundry between us.
“I love you too, Jesus.” She whispers as I take her in my arms.
Revelation 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” RSV
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