It has been exactly one month and one day since we returned from our three-month stay in Jerusalem. We have been settling in, reconnecting with life here in this old house, and having visits from family and friends. There are some things I miss about Jerusalem, particularly the Redeemer Lutheran Church community and vibrancy of the Old City. There are things I don’t miss, such as the institutionalized violence, an underlying cantus firmus to life there right now.

One of the things that has continued to stay with me and is pertinent to this season of life we are in as we ask, seek and knock regarding next steps, is the doors in the Old City. The streets are dark and narrow in some parts and can be very crowded at times. When night falls, the shops are closed up behind metal doors, giving a feeling of gloom and desertion as the trash is very evident and only the cats are roaming the dark alleys. One of the things I learned, though, is that behind doors that seem very non-descript and unpromising, there may lie rich treasures. Whole worlds of beauty and vastness can open up behind some of these very small doors that are easy to miss in the hub-bub of lights and pilgrims and shopkeepers hawking their wares.

One example was the Hashimi Hotel, a door I had never even noticed until our friend, Susan, pointed it out to us. Almost hidden between two shops, its sign hung high amidst a confusing array of lights and goods for sale, she opened the narrow door and led us up a flight of stairs. Image result for hashimi hotelThere, a lovely hotel lobby appeared. Up the elevator another three flights and we were on a covered rooftop patio looking out over the Old City at night. It took my breath away! Who would have known that such an unremarkable doorway led to such beauty and delight?! (See http://hashimihotel.com/hotel-overview)http://www.hashimihotel.com/media/hashimi-hotel-imageLink15-img_53021.jpg

It really is a metaphor for my life right now, for anyone, really. What non-descript door have I been walking by that I may need to open? What treasures are waiting for me behind some out-of-the-way entrance I may miss amidst all the distractions of life back in this old house? What doors unpromising looking doors might lead to unexpected delights? I plan to check a few of them out in the days ahead.