Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting Off the Threshold

Admission: I have tried all day to write this post, and I'm kind of stuck.

Could that be (I wonder) because I, myself, am kind of stuck? We've often said that a person entering physically cloistered life is either in or out. She does not stick her head in and leave her arms and legs dangling outside the enclosure door, perhaps to be brought in at a later date. I find it a helpful image, for I can so easily bring part of my life into the will of God while leaving some of me outside. I might find myself clutching this little worry, that tiny vice, that long held attachment...

Could it be that I've set up camp right on the edge of the doorway? Am I parked on the threshold of living for God - not totally out, but not totally in?

Lent is a perfect time for getting off the fence - or, in this case, getting off the threshold. I'm helped by remembering that, in deciding to live "in God's will," I am not simply stepping away from something. I'm not just saying farewell to complacency and sin and compromise so I can become "a better person." No.

I am moving toward something. Or I should say, toward SomeONE. It is for Him that I step through the door into surrender to His will. And all the steps after - all of those stairs and turns and inner doorways that frighten me now with whispers of "but what if this happens," and "what if you lose that" - I will not have to take those steps alone. I will not be by myself as I live within His will.

As I tell God that I want to say a deeper yes to Him, something happens. Christ is the Bridegroom of the soul - and what traditionally happens when the bride arrives at the threshold?

All I have to do is let Him carry me over it in His arms.

"My Jesus, please accept the offering and the sacrifice that I make to You this day, as I once more sincerely  offer to You my entire will. Tell me what You want me to do. Your holy grace will help me to do it." (St. Alphonsus Liguori) 

Painting: Vilhelm Hammershoi; 
bottom copy digitally altered using a painting by James Tissot


Linked to 40 Days of Seeking Him  


  1. Nancy, I so identify with being 'kind of stuck' as you say. 'Could it be that I've set up camp right on the edge of the doorway?' Lent is a great time for getting off the threshold. Thanks for giving me a little 'push' so I can cross the threshold and fall into His arms. +

  2. "Am I parked on the threshold of living for God - not totally out, but not totally in?"

    This sentence leapt out at me as I read your post. I've had plenty of days when I am trying to follow where the Spirit is leading me, but hesitate to take some of those leaps of faith that are required.

    1. Thanks, Laura. I've been imagining a picture, the last few days, of myself perched on the threshold on one leg, with the other leg still "dangling outside!" :)

  3. Oh...I'm feel like I've been stuck for a long time...just sitting or standing...not completely in yet not completely out. Yes, just dangling part way out while my head is peeking in.

    I have enjoyed, well more likely been challenged now, by two of your posts this week. I do hope that you will be continuing to write through Lent and join us while we endeavor to Seek blessed to find you.


    1. Thank you so much, Trish. I hope to look next into some of the "rooms and hallways" we might encounter as we move along. I've been a bit "stuck" as I've tried to write today. Hmm. I think that might become one of the topics.. (?)

  4. Nancy, this is incredible writing. I love everything in this expression. You capture so well and succinctly our hesitating nature to live full out for Him. Your words are so helpful for all of us "stuck" out here. Thank you, thank you for your powerful and beautiful writing and gift to us!!!! May Lent be a tumbling over the threshold into more of Him....God Bless...

    1. Thank you for such deeply encouraging words, just when I've needed them, just when I'm thinking "all of this is making NO SENSE AT ALL!!" Thanks be to God.