Thinking Out Loud

August 26, 2018

Face Pressed Against the Window

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:33 am

19 Years old and unable to present her parents with a suitable alternative, she’s joined them and her younger brothers for a 3-day rental of a log cabin at a winter resort.

The brothers were dominating one of the two large screens which were provided and her parents were watching a movie on the other when she told them she was “bored to tears” and would be out walking around the trails by the 40 or so other cabins. She dons winter boots, a ski jacket and hat. The wind is light, but the outside temperature seems significantly lower than the city they left. She’s glad she also grabbed a scarf.

Some of the cabins are dark — probably not rented this particular weekend — but others show evidence of occupancy. She thinks she hears the faint pulsing of music from one on the edge of the property and her feet follow the sound.

The cabin is well lit and someone has strung a battery operated set of flashing lights on the door framing a sign which reads, “Teens and Twenties Party Tonight – Everyone Welcome” and then, to make sure the type of party, in smaller print, “No Alcohol.”

She walks over to the door but hesitates to knock. Instead she moves to her left where there is a window consisting of two dozen smaller panes of glass. It has obviously snowed earlier in the day and there is a light coating that she needs to brush aside to press her face to one of the panes.

Inside are mostly people standing in small groups talking. She’s surprised that there are actually a number of people at the resort her age. The glasses in their hands are probably filled with what looks like apple cider from a large punch bowl with real cinnamon sticks floating on top. Someone has prepared trays of baked items which appear to be banana bread, strawberry tarts and shortbread cookies. It’s not Christmas but there are Christmas lights and Christmas garland strung around the room. Two guys seem to be in charge of a twin turntable and they’re playing real vinyl records. A group are sitting around a large playing a board game she’s seen before, though at a distance she’s not sure if it’s Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan. There’s a kitchen in the background and it looks like they’ve just taken something out of the oven and are closing in to savor the aroma.

She’s lost in peering into this world, and someone inside spots her face and walks over to the window and waves at her saying, “C’mon inside.”

But something — she doesn’t know what it is — holds her back and she simply stands there for what seems like forever observing the party from out in the cold…

This story is an extrapolation from another story that I read many years ago and has been reprinted on the several times in the early days of this blog. I was going to run that one this morning when I sensed something saying, tell the other version of the story, the one about the girl…

I’ve shared this version several times when I found myself working at a couple of Christian camps — in much warmer weather than the story describes — and we had, for various reasons people on staff who had not fully made a commitment to Christianity; or to put it another way, not crossed the line of faith.

I told them that they’re like the girl in the story, watching and observing the insiders as though their faces are pressed against the glass, but unwilling to come in and join the party. Instead, they stand observing Christian people, doing both Christian things and ordinary things but doing so with an assurance of post-resurrection eternal hope in Christ.

Like all analogies, it’s imperfect, but maybe you know someone or perhaps you’re one of them who is an outsider to Christianity. There are people on the other side waving you in; inviting you; perhaps imploring you, but something holds you back. Your face is pressed against the glass.

Please…come in. Join the party.

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