by Carolyn Sowinski
May 20, 2014

Here is an excerpt from an essay I read recently:

“Today when I got home…the windows and curtains were closed as always….A while back I would have left everything closed…Today, however, the dark, isolated house bothered me. Before taking off my shoes I had to open all the curtains and windows, letting in the light, a delicate breeze and the world’s sounds because I feel I am a part of this world.”

How many times have we wanted to leave the curtains closed: to leave the world outside, to leave the hurts and disappointments far away, to leave concerns unaddressed and forgotten at least for a while? Yet in the process, we isolate from friendships, from joys, from conversation, and from an interesting world.

How do we close the curtains on our lives:
–Too much television: picking up the remote to watch everything and nothing at the same time.
–Too much alcohol or other compulsions
–Wallowing in self-pity or the ‘poor me’ attitude
–Fear of change or the unfamiliar
–Worry that someone will learn about a secret that we have carried for far too many years.
–Avoiding uncomfortable issues
–Avoiding conversation

How do we open the curtains:
–Being honest with ourselves and then others
–Walking out the door to talk with a neighbor
–Making a phone call or answering the phone calls from friends.
–Turning off the television and/or computer and other electronic gadgets.
–Exercise or taking a walk or bike ride
–Connecting with a small group, at church or in the community.
–Perseverance. Try and try again, setting pride aside.
–Do the asking, not the waiting.
–Trusting that the risks will be worth it.
–Remembering that it is never too late to make a change
–Remembering that God is with us with each step we take on our faith and growth journeys
–To do service and to help others–which may put our problems into perspective

I am grateful that my “closed curtains” list is shorter than my “open curtains” list.

I heard the following statement in a recent sermon. “Nothing will keep Jesus from showing up–even darkness in our lives.” Our closed curtains cannot keep Jesus out, but opening the curtains provides an easier, smoother path toward a growing and caring relationship.