I’ve become obsessed with doors in recent days. Or perhaps I should say “door.”
As in “front door”. The primary portal to our home – which has for some time now been crying out…in its insistently inanimate fashion…for repainting and / or replacement.
No big deal, you say. But then, you have likely been gifted with a “handyman” gene or two. I, on the other hand, run a deep deficit in that regard. It stretches back at least a generation…and seems to afflict many, if not all, of the other men in my family.
The simplest home improvement projects often turn into ordeals, in my experience. So I approached this latest “door” thing with a fair amount of trepidation. And in many respects, it did not disappoint.
Fer instance: We briefly considered “replacement” as the easy option. Soon enough, it became clear that such a choice would not be “simple” at all…but might well blossom into a full-blown construction project – requiring the replacement of the jamb, sidelights and transom, too.
Back to “repainting” then, as the sensible course of action. And there’s this: YouTube has caught on a bit since the last time the door had been painted…so I now have easy access to an abundance of “how-to” videos.
You’d think the videos would provide a blessed balm for the doubt and uncertainty that so often washes over my tortured spirit whenever I take a tool in hand. Alas, none of the videos’ instructions and processes align perfectly. Small points of difference admittedly, from clip to clip. But the devil is always in the details.
Even the paint store wasn’t much help. Two separate trips…two different sales reps…two distinct recommendations on the type of paint that would be best to apply.
By late week, I realized that I’d put quite enough effort into studying the issue. It was time to go all-out-Nike on my door, and Just Do It. A day and a half later, Gerri and I had gotten the surface prepared – scraping and scrubbing away the old paint, until only bare-metal remained. Which is exactly what I mean about such projects: It took a day-and-a-half for us to accomplish a task that, on YouTube, gets wrapped up in five to seven minutes. Sheesh.
Did I mention, by the way, that this is the front door to our house? It pretty much has to be re-hung at the end of the work day…unless you want nothing more than a thin sheet of plastic providing a barrier against the cold, cruel world.
Eventually, though, we did get to the point where we could apply a coating to the surface. Not paint, of course, but primer. Then comes the waiting. Waiting for that first coat to dry. Followed, gloriously, by enamel…and then more waiting, waiting, waiting – as you fritter away the better part of a day literally watching paint…each glorious coat of paint…dry.
You spend a lot of time watching…and waiting…when you take on a project like this. And somewhere along the way…just about when the door is re-hung for the final time…you realize that it’s the feast day of the Archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
You find yourself gazing upon that door, and a feeling a certain affinity for Nathanael – the apostle we meet in the gospel reading that’s proclaimed on the feast day. He spends a lot of time studying, you notice – just like a would-be handyman poring over YouTube videos.
The studying gets him closer to the Lord. It’s a gift of sorts. But it doesn’t provide all the answers. Not even close.
“You will see greater things than this,” Jesus tells Nathanael. Just as in another place, Jesus tells us, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.”
We do well to meditate upon doors, and upon angels, it seems to me.
We do well…to watch and wait, patiently. Because in the end, our persistence…our watchfulness…will be rewarded gloriously – in ways that go far beyond our ability to imagine.
And [Jesus] said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.