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December 13, 2006

The Doorkeeper

Spring Hill, TN

I have been drawn back once again over the last couple of days to Psalm 84:

“How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord God Almighty. Better would be one day in your courts than a thousand days elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tent of the wicked.”

I have always considered the lowly position of the doorkeeper in this verse as if to say, “If nothing else in the eternal kingdom, I guess I will take the position of doorkeeper. I might simply just settle for doorkeeper; I would rather be there than with the wicked.”

Of all positions of honor that could be held in the royal estate, the doorkeeper seems the lowest. Yet, my perspective is changing regarding the role of the doorkeeper in the house of the Lord.


A feast has been prepared full of rich cuisine; aromas fill the house tantalizing the senses. The table is set with fine linen laid out of brilliant white beneath candelabras, stemmed crystal, gold-rimmed china, and polished cutlery of every kind. Rooms are prepared with fresh dressings, down duvets turned for the weary traveler who, once filled with the fatness of the table, can find rest. A fire in the greatest of rooms burns boldly amid the serenity and peace of this beacon of promise, welcome, and hospitality.

I love these moments of feasting, and in my youth, I would wait in eager anticipation for the first guests to arrive after they had traveled the far distance.

I run to the door upon having seen them arrive as I peer out the window for what seems an eternity fo waiting. Finally they have come. The invitations have found their mark! The recipients have followed the directions; they are not lost after all! My father is not surprised; he made the arrangements and set the time. My mother is not alarmed; she had delivered the invitations herself and made preparation for everything requiring nothing of her guests. I gladly assume the role of doorkeeper.

I never have had to be given the task of doorkeeper. In fact, I never really am aware that I am the doorkeeper. There is no special excitement evoked within me in the mere fact of knowing that I am the doorkeeper. But, as I now begin to understand what it is that the doorkeeper is aware of and what I am about to reveal to the arriving guests, my understanding begins to change. For as the doorkeeper, I am also the child who is already receiving all of the blessings and benefits within.

I run to the door, turn the knob, and swing it wide to reveal all the goodness and the fullness of the promised feast, warmth, and rest. I give to the guests the first glimpse of home as the light pours out into the street and fragrance fills the air. Those passing by see it; they smell the aroma. Some stop and take note captivated by the display: a glimpse of hope, a promise revealed, a spectacle of the goodness, the kindness, and grace of the father. Others simply walk past on their own way. The guests enter knowing who they are, for they have received the invitation. The passers-by, once having seen the wonder of the glory revealed behind the door, know that the father is good.

To be the doorkeeper, to be the child, to enjoy and bask in all the fullness of the glory of the father – this is my task; this is my dream; this is my promise! Swing wide the door of the dwelling of the Lord, O Doorkeeper. Reveal all the grace, all the fragrance, all the warmth, and all the rest the Father has to give!