From the manse window
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!