So many doors,
colours, sizes, shapes;
some swing from the left,
others from the right,
so many choices.
Which doors are for me?
Will it be the journey within,
The fourth gospel
designates the Good Shepherd
as the gate, a door through which
his sheep might enter into life.
When I passed through that door,
many years ago,
I was told by some earnest
sisters and brothers
that there were certain doors
to be avoided
for fear of one’s eternal life.
These well-meaning friends
insisted that those who travel
through such doors will be lost.
So many doors,
so many dangers.
I went through one anyway.
too many questions,
too many doubts.
notwithstanding all the warnings,
it was the Shepherd
who was waiting at the other side.
Let me join you, Thomas,
out here in the outer-circle of disciples;
along with other questioners and doubters.
Here I shall make my home among those
for whom creedal recitations
and orthodox affirmations
seem increasingly less relevant.
(Discipleship, we all know, has only one test.)
Our wonderings will be loud,
and our speculations wild and free;
none shall be offended,
perhaps not even God.
In our outer-circle orbit,
always at risk,
we will repeat the stories and tell new ones,
and do our best to love into reality
the kingdom of which the Master spoke.
Defying the sadness and the fear
we will announce in word and deed
the mysterious presence of He who died.
I like to think that we would do so
even if the tomb had not been emptied;
and, if, one day,
the Master’s earthly remains were to be found,
it would make no difference.
They drove him out
of the Temple; the unnamed man,
who, according to John,
had been born blind.
Now, with the wondrous gift of sight,
he could not be less concerned;
he has no desire to ever go back,
and he won’t.
The Temple no longer has what he needs;
he will manage without it.
In turn, the Temple
will have to get on without him;
and all the others, who, over the millennia,
have been dismissed from its hallowed courts.
The Temple has been adept
at expelling embarrassments;
those who no longer recite the creeds,
who ask their awkward questions
and dare to give shape to their doubts.
Preferring the elusive uncertainty of truth,
whatever its unexpected contours,
they despise the Temple’s promise
of security and comfort.
They would rather die outside the walls
than live the delusions within.
Do your worst, Temple;
drive them all out. Nobody cares