At the beginning of the school year I felt I could help with parking patrol at our local school. The parking lot was small and people triple-parked if unwatched. So I strapped on my neon vest and got to work. Sadly ambition and optimism faded quickly. Didn’t these people know I was helping them? You’d think I kicked each car as it passed by.
Parking patrol can turn you into a praying man or a broken one. Parents cursed me out for enforcing safety rules. I received the one-fingered salute on multiple occasions. I’m pretty sure a few wanted to park on my face. It was tense.
Eventually, I realized I was going nowhere. I wasn’t helping like I had hoped. So I prayed about it. I complained to the Lord and I felt released from parking enforcement.
My new role is parking helper. I open up car doors and help kids safely on to the sidewalk. When parents realized I was not there to scold them but to help, much changed. As a result I’ve had some very sweet moments in the last weeks where parents have thanked me and encouraged me. Today someone thanked me “for my service.” Isn’t that something you say to a marine when they get back from Iraq? I'm just a weirdo in a neon vest but all it took was opening doors.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Friends, if you are called to neighborhoods that don’t know Jesus, remember, your job is not to scold. (The Holy Spirit is already working on that.) It’s time to open up doors so they might see Jesus. If you live in an area of material poverty, you might be able to open up doors to education and opportunity as well. Either way, we have no need to judge and enforce behavior of our neighbors. We need to point them to Jesus. He is knocking on their hearts. Let’s help them open the door.