CHI Health Monthly Meditations

Going Out and Coming In

Did you ever give any thoughts to doorways?  Seems as if we’re always going in or out.  Out to work, the movies, the mall, out for a drink or to visit friends.  In to the doctor’s office, the school for a conference, the retirement party–You get the picture.

Coming and going is what we do best –and we do a lot of it.

Did you know that the Hebrew people, our faith forefathers and foremothers, saw all that coming and going as holy, or at least they attempted to, as they sanctified their doorways, the thresholds to and from the world.  Every Jewish household had a mezuzah, a small box with a portion of the Torah (first five books of the Hebrew scripture) in it, fastened to the doorway of the house.  And each time one left or arrived at home, one touched the mezuzah and spoke a quick prayer.  This is still a feature in many Jewish homes today.  And its purpose is to remind each person that God watches over all of one’s comings and goings.  God is a part of everything one does, and so the doorway by which one begins or ends one’s tasks is a very holy place.

November is a threshold month.  It marks the end of the Christian church year and the first full month of the Jewish year. The long nights of winter begin. The trees are bare. We await first snows and holiday celebrations with a mixture of anticipation, preparation, and anxiety.  The New Year and all it brings is not far away.

All of these are holy events, holy because God is a part of every part of our lives.  Holy because there is nothing we do which is outside of God’s vision; God’s participation.  This is true of more than just the events we celebrate where we worship.  The Jews were making a powerful statement by making the doorway a sacred space.  We would be well advised to do the same in our own homes, to take a moment each time we come in or go out, to remember the Lord’s presence in whatever we go to do or come from doing.  Does your threshold lead to more business – or yet another sacred adventure?

Take time in this month of thresholds to consider your goings out and your comings in.


Ever faithful God,

help me to be completely open to you, living in me, so that…         

all I see is viewed with love,

            all I touch is done so with compassion,

            what I hear is shaped by understanding,

            every thought may be cloaked in wonder,

            every encounter furthers peace,

            and all I hope for may be toward your will.

Give me the courage to be open to your life in me.