The word “DoorKeeper” has been on my mind lately. While ministering in prison this past week, I tumbled on Psalm 84 again. It seemed full of meaning and purpose…both for me and the women I was talking to. The question kept mulling around in my mind: “What does it mean to be a DoorKeeper?
Several weeks ago I was at the coffee shop, studying and journaling. A scrap of paper fell out of my journal and I picked it up. On it were the words: “I want to be a DoorKeeper! Psalm 84:10” It was dated April 3, 2017.
That scrap of paper…I wrote eight days before Ms. Laurie went home to heaven.
Psalm 84:10 (ESV), “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
The Message Bible says in the last part of the verse: “I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.”
When I wrote those words last year on a scrap of paper, more than anything I wanted to hear God’s voice. Just to know that He was there. IN my heartache. IN my sorrow. IN my loss. Did He really hear me? I felt like teenage Joshua in Exodus 33:11 (HCSB), “The Lord spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his assistant, the young man Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the inside of the tent.”
In the deepest parts of my soul…I was starving for the face of God. Begging for Him to show up. So, when I came across this verse in Psalm 84, I felt like the cry of my heart was showing up in black letters on the page. I wanted to be where He was. Like Joshua, I didn’t want to leave the tent. If that meant staking my claim at the door of His house, I was staying. Right. There.
Ever been there? Completely wrecked and at the end of yourself? Waiting for the breath of God to come over you? Wondering if His robe would ever come close enough for you to reach out and touch?
A DoorKeeper in the House of my God.
If all I’m doing is scrubbing floors for Jesus or standing at the door and opening it for other people to walk through…isn’t that enough? Maybe…just maybe…if I stay right there at the door of His dwelling, I’ll see His face more often. I’ve tasted of His mercy. I have a seat at His table. So why not stand at the door and invite others to come in? To open the door for those crippled by sin, too sick to open the door themselves, or saddened by life? I want to be a doorkeeper.
So, last April, I wrote that on my scrap of paper. “I want to be a doorkeeper! Psalm 84:10. April 3, 2017.”
Doorkeeper’s jobs aren’t always easy. They stand between the world and the House of God. A bridge for people to see Jesus in the face of another human. Doorkeepers are real people with skin on. They are flesh and blood folks who make mistakes but know about the Hope of the Gospel and the Healing of the Cross. They stand at the door and hold it open for anyone who wants more. Anyone who needs help. Everyone who craves lasting peace or wholeness of spirit. Sometimes they open the door for someone who needs to go Home.
Doorkeepers are most often in the brokenness of the world but with the Hope of Jesus in their eyes. They aren’t afraid to do hard things and they live Brave because they know that Jesus is the answer to the world’s deepest hunger. You can find doorkeepers doing the unwanted jobs because they know it’s all about HIM and nothing about them. You can find them taking care of the sick, visiting prisoners, feeding the hungry, and talking to strangers. You will find them scrubbing floors, working in the nursery, teaching Sunday School or going somewhere in the world where they need to hear about Jesus.
Doorkeepers aren’t super-human. They are just people who have prayed the dangerous prayer…to be used for His glory. And they are content to point to Jesus while holding open the door to the House of God.
I’m not sure about you, but that sounds like the coolest job ever to me.
From where I’m standing today, a whole year after I prayed that prayer, I can tell you this: It has been the most ALIVE year I’ve ever lived and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Hard? Absolutely. It’s been the most difficult, life-shifting and challenging year I’ve ever had. It’s also been the year I’ve seen Jesus in the most incredible ways. I’ve seen lives redeemed. I’ve seen people come to Jesus for the first time. I’ve seen forgiveness in action. I’ve seen the truth of the Word literally CHANGE people…starting with me. And on my longest days of being a doorkeeper, I’ve went to bed saying, “There is nowhere else in the world I’d rather be today.”
This past week as I stood in front of a room full of women who had prison sentences for various lengths and for different reasons, I told them about being a DoorKeeper. In their faces, I could see the idea connect, because wherever you are on planet earth, you can be in the Presence of God. You can see His glory in prison. I told them: “There’s a job opening at the House of God for another DOORKEEPER. The only requirement is that you know Jesus. Crave His Presence. Let’s be like Joshua and stake out wherever He is. When that happens, you can bet people will notice and our lives will literally be Living Invitations to Jesus.” There were some resounding AMENS and the thought occurred to me…how different the world would be if there were more DoorKeepers and less DoorSlammers.
You know, the DoorSlammer type. They like to go in and out of God’s house with their click of friends. They are too busy to notice the hurting people behind them who can’t quite get the door open alone…so they inadvertently slam the door in their faces. DoorSlammers are well-meaning people who are self-absorbed and like their comfort zone too much to reach out to those who are different from themselves. Too many times I’ve been a DoorSlammer when I should have been a DoorKeeper.
I pray I now live as a DoorKeeper. Craving His Presence. Seeking His face.
It’s a great thing to be at the door of God’s House. His glory surrounds me. His love is toward me. I camp out here. At the edge of the tent, here at the door, hoping to catch a glimpse of His face. He is here. He is Jehovah. He has healed and brought hope to my weary soul. Time and again. It’s been an unforgettable year of ups and downs, but I have seen His face! I have heard His voice. I am learning to stake out at the door of His habitation.