A gateway to Thine eternal Kingdom
Quiet retreat, november 2014, Hilversum,
O God, make the door of this house wide enough
to receive all who need human love and fellowship,
and a heavenly Father’s care;
and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and hate.
Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children or to straying feet,
But rugged enough to turn back the tempter’s power;
make it a gateway to thine eternal Kingdom.
It is a couple of months ago now that I took a quiet retreat. Not very restful to travel by car to Hilversum from the Betuwe. I saw many, many, many more cars than usual on a normal day here in the midst of the fruit trees and river area. Once I arrived I was with a beautiful mix of fifteen people with a tough life stories. People who have lived and served literally all over the planet. And some of them in the most curious and heartbreaking circumstances. Not surprising that these people got my attention. So at the end of the day I came home and Jelle asked: How was your quiet retreat? And I said: It was nice, I talked to 12 of the 15 people (not to all 15..which also easily could have happened…) Not really quiet. If that was the purpose: It totally failed. And although I enjoyed it, this was my conclusion for a while.
During that day though, we had two moments of under two hours to be really quiet and contemplate, let the Word speak or whatever you wanted to do. And that was nice and does not happen very often in our lively family. I can’t remember now where I found it, but in those hours this prayer came along and I wrote it in my journal. It is months later now and we see that the contours of this prayer are becoming more and more a real dream. I love this prayer! This poem came to me and was born as a little seed in my heart. And I wasn’t even aware of its birth that same day.
While this prayer is at the bottom of my heart, I do not see how this will unfold in the future. It seems like an impossible adventure. We know that we can expect great things from God, and do great things for God.
But we don’t have to give more than ourselves, live our life, day by day, trusting our lifes in His care.
Somewhere will be a house, and this prayer will be at the foundation.