Why don't they Open the Door?
REUBEN and Esther Jones were as devoted to each other, their home, and only child, who had brought much happiness into their lives, as man an d wife could be. They had not much sympathy with religious folks, or churches. Sundays were “rest days” with the newspaper as their “guide, philosopher, and friend.”
They had, however, allowed the district visitor to call, which she did monthly, and the day of which I write she had brought the new Sheet Calendar, the central picture being a reproduction of Holman Hunt’s famous painting, “Christ, the Light of the World.” Mother and son looked at it with wonder as it was placed in a prominent position on the wall.
On the father coming in to dinner his attention was called to it by the boy. “Look Daddy! Who is it, Daddy? Who is it?” Reuben looked at the picture, but gave no answer although he knew Whom the picture represented.
But the little fellow was not to be denied, and again came the question. “Who is it, Daddy? Tell me, Daddy.”
At last he blurted out, “A Man of course!”
“What Man, Daddy? What is His name?”
Compelled by the earnestness of the child, he said“Christ!”
“But what is He doing, Daddy?”
“Can’t you see? He is knocking at a door!” said the father.
“How long will He knock, Daddy?”
“I don’t know,” came the reply.
Still the boy asked, “What is He knocking for?”
“Because He wants to go inside,” said his father.
“Why don’t they open the door, Daddy?” This question was repeatedly asked, and it proved to be too pointed, for Reuben Jones turned away saying, “I don’t know, son.”
Very little was said that dinner hour, except the boy’s repeated statement. “I’d open the door. Wouldn’t you, Daddy?”
Dinner over, the father hurried away saying to his wife, “I cannot stand any more of his questions.”
That evening Reuben Jones and his wife talked chiefly about their son, the picture, and the child’s questions. “Oh!” said the wife, “he’s been on about it ever since; his last words going to bed were ‘I wish they had let the Man in’.”
“It is very strange,” said the husband, “I have thought of little else, since dinner. I cannot get it out of my mind. ‘Why don’t they open the door? Why don’t they open the door?’ Esther, I believe the same hand has been knocking at my door for some time, but the knocking has been louder today. But still the door is closed. ‘Why don’t they open the door’?” he said. “Ah that is the question. I am sure, Esther, God is knocking by the hand of our own child. It’s time we began to be more serious about things.”
“Well,” said the wife, “If you are going to seek the Lord, so shall I.” That very week some evangelistic services were being held in the Town Hall. Reuben’s workshop friends had held up this effort to scorn, asking, “Who’s going to get saved?” But not withstanding this spirit of derision Reuben and Esther attended three meetings, till on the closing night the preacher asked, “Who will open the door and let the good Stranger in?”
It brought back to husband and wife the question of their own child, “Why don’t they open the door?”
The preacher cried, “Behold, now is the accepted time! Behold, now is the day of salvation!”
That was enough; husband and wife decided that He Who had been a Stranger should henceforth be trusted as Saviour and Friend.
For more than ten years He has been to them “The Light of the World.” That Sheet Almanac became a treasure, for they never tired of recounting the way they had been led to Christ.
Do you know where Christ is in your life? Is He inside, or outside? He said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Have you opened the door?