“A Good Door-knocker, I Am Not!”

I might as well just admit it: I am not a good door-knocker.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Probably not me, or you’d not have heard the clatter.

I don’t like to make noise. I like peace and quiet and assume that others do, too, so I tend to knock too quietly. Nor do I enjoy having to stand outside a door as I realize that I knocked too tentatively and that it’s probably my own fault that I’m standing there, waiting, wondering if anyone is home, if anybody heard my wimpy knock, and how long I should wait before knocking (apologetically) again.

Knocking, by its very nature, seems intrusive. I don’t like to bother people. I’d starve as a door-to-door salesman, religious pamphlet passer-outer, etc., for all of the reasons above—and more. If, when the door-knocker knocks, he’s praying that no one is home, he is not well-suited for door-knocking.

But some people are.

Like the guy in Jesus’ parable in Luke 11.

It seems to me the fellow is a few slices short of a loaf. Actually, he’s three loaves short of “enough for company.” Oh, and he’s “you.”

Don’t be offended, but “you” are a little clueless in this parable. It is, however, Jesus’ story and not mine. And the Lord calls him “you.”

You show up at a friend’s house at midnight. Unannounced. You shouldn’t have. Granted, you’d have had to wait about two thousand years to call or text ahead, but you shouldn’t have done that, either. No way to shine this up.

You knocked. Loudly. With authority. (Even though you have none.) I’m sorry, but, if this is you, I figure “you” stand in people’s personal space and talk too loudly even at decent hours. Spittle sputter. Buzzard breath. You may be a tad short of friends.

But you’ve rattled the timbers around this particular soon-to-be-former friend’s door. At midnight.

Three-quarters asleep, he stumbles over and manages to raise the bedroom window: “Hey, fool, we’re trying to sleep here! The lights are out, the door’s locked, and my kids are finally asleep—or at least they were. Go away!” Where I live, we’re more civilized. We might just forgo the filibuster, cock the .45, and growl, “Git!”

But “you” plead your case. Another friend has shown up for a visit, and you don’t have a morsel or crumb anywhere in the house. You figure a loan of three loaves of bread will be enough. Wheat, not white. Mind wrapping it up?

“Are you daft? No!” Please? “No!” You sure? “For heaven’s sake, let me sleep!” Just this once?

The window slams shut. Curtains pulled. Unprintable snarls. A baby’s yowling.

Louder unprintable growls. Heavy steps. Bolts sliding. A door flung open. More snarls. A package of, presumably, three loaves shoved in your chest. A door slammed in your face.

You probably won’t be doing a garage sale together anytime soon. But you got the bread.

Why? Jesus says it’s because you’re a loud jerk. Well, he calls you “shamelessly persistent.”

The Lord tells this story in the midst of some of his most amazing teaching on prayer. And he is telling us something important about our Father. Above all, notice that this is not a comparison, it’s a contrast. 

We’re not obnoxious neighbors who get on God’s nerves; we’re the sons and daughters in whom he delights.

So keep asking, seeking, knocking. It’s your Father’s deepest joy to open the door to his children.

Anytime. Any time. Any time at all.


You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2020 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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