Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's Polite

It's a courtesy that's not widely recognized in America (or maybe the world) much anymore, a thought that has slowly rusted and decayed, shrunken and withered away to something small, optional, unnecessary. Yet, I remember it well.

I casually glance over my shoulder to see how closely someone is walking to me, gauge the distance. I reach the door and without hesitation, fling it open, stepping to the side and gripping the handle as I do. With a practiced flip of my head, I turn and smile and the stranger who's about to go inside, whose suspicious face only makes the act more exciting. Yes, most people look at me with a mix of surprise, annoyance, disgust, and mistrust when I open the door for them, but someone has to break the ice, right? They hustle through the door and try not to make eye contact, mumbling a quiet thanks and continuing on their way. I slide in after them, grinning.

On some occasions, I'll open to the door and be thanked heartily by a kind soul who understands the gesture. Their face lights up and their smile stretches out till it touches their ears, and they eagerly walk through the open door. Maybe it's people like them that really keep me going at it.

Even more so, I love it when people hold the door open for me. I feel like a queen, a star. When someone opens the door for me, it's as if they're acknowledging me as a fellow human being, a dear person who deserves to be cared about. I instantly start to think, I must be beautiful, I must be sweet-looking, I must have the most amazing smile if someone would bother opening a door for me. It's such a little thing, such a small act of kindness, yet it touches my heart so deeply.

Who holds open the door to love, so that we who are burdened, carrying the luggage of the world, and cannot hope of reaching the handles, may enter into love's sweet presence? Who opens the door?

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