On Re­flec­tion

From the manse win­dow

The People's Friend - - Serial By Linda Lewis: Part 3 Of 3 -

IBy Kathrine Davey

WAS tidy­ing up the kitchen, be­gin­ning with one of those draw­ers full of odds and ends, and things that might be use­ful one day and so we keep them “just in case”.

In it were sev­eral as­sorted pad­locks and keys and I spent a long time try­ing to marry up the key to the lock.

I think they were prob­a­bly from the time when my chil­dren were at school and had to have a pad­lock for their locker which held all the per­sonal stuff that friends and Mum didn’t know about.

Ev­ery year in Septem­ber, be­fore the new school year be­gan, they re­alised that ei­ther the pad­lock or the key had gone miss­ing, which meant we had to buy an­other.

A locked door can be very se­cure and give us a large dose of con­fi­dence. But it can be a nui­sance as well – such as when I have a de­liv­ery wait­ing out­side the door and I can’t find the key, or when I can’t find the key to the gate in or­der to get the dust­bin out when I hear the lorry com­ing.

Je­sus also de­scribes him­self as the door (or the gate in some trans­la­tions). It can be a great com­fort to know that we are so well pro­tected, but it can also be a chal­lenge, if we have to get through a door that is block­ing our way.

If we get to the door and then find that the door is locked, we need to have the key to open it. When I was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pile of locks and keys, sev­eral times I tried to force a key into a lock to make it fit.

Un­for­tu­nately, by do­ing this too of­ten and too roughly, I risked break­ing the lock or the key, and so that would mean I ended up with noth­ing.

Ap­pear­ances can be de­cep­tive. The key that seemed a per­fect part­ner to a lock might prove use­less and even make the lock use­less, too.

Sev­eral lessons came to mind from this in­ci­dent. A key is no use with­out a pad­lock and vice-versa.

In the Bi­ble, the same point is il­lus­trated in terms of the body – “If one part suf­fers, ev­ery part suf­fers with it; if one part is honoured, ev­ery part re­joices with it”.

If one of the pair (lock and key) is lost, then the other is con­demned to the dark re­cesses of the kitchen drawer un­til I get round to sort­ing it out again. So our ac­tions af­fect other peo­ple, whether we re­alise it or not.

I be­gan to won­der what I have that I keep locked up and could do with a bit of help to get un­locked.

A great quote that I came across a long time ago, but was de­ter­mined to find again, was by Thomas Wat­son. He said, “Prayer is the key of heaven, and faith is the hand that turns it.”

In other words, no amount of forc­ing will help the sit­u­a­tion, but only gen­tle­ness of prayer and faith is nec­es­sary. A key is so small, but has great power to hold back all sorts of in­trud­ers.

I was fas­ci­nated to find the fol­low­ing de­scrip­tion of Je­sus: “He is the key that opens all the hid­den treasures of God’s wis­dom and knowl­edge”.

I could do with a bit of wis­dom and knowl­edge at times, as I’m sure we all could, and now I know where to find it!

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