Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Risen Lord,

too often the doors of my heart are locked tight

for fear of the unfamiliar.

I need to know some things before I invite anything, anyone, in.

Who’s jiggling the handle?

What do they want?

How will I be changed if I peek through the crack in the door jamb?

I’ve been hurt before,

so I think I’ll just keep the deadbolt on.

And yet…a door is no barrier to you, Lord.

You find ways to show up

no how many alarms I activate.

Thank goodness,

because you materialize ready

to breathe peace on me

to embrace my doubt

to call down the Spirit of courage and guidance

to give me a purpose

and to empower me to forgive. (Or not.)

You flip the locks and remove the security chains

and nudge me out into a bigger life –

filled with love and belonging even as I retain the wounds and the pain –

than I would have had with such a guarded heart.

My Lord and my God!

I thank you with all that I have and all that I am.

Laura Stephens-Reed is a clergy and congregational coach working with ministers and churches across the ecumenical spectrum. Having served in a variety of pastoral roles and denominations, she is primarily affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and has ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Based in northwest Alabama (United States), Laura is married to a United Methodist pastor, and they have a eight-year-old son. She blogs weekly at

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