Shut the Door


I’m sitting in our filthy garage writing this.

My boys turned it into a man cave early during the Covid lockdown.

It’s dingy and, well, fit for a man, I guess—a man who doesn’t care about filth.

Our garage is the place I chose to come because the sun is setting and the sky is pink and purple and blue and orange, and it’s stunning. We can’t see it from inside the house. So here I sit in the middle of the mess, looking up at the heavens in awe.

A cold front came through earlier, and it’s pretty chilly in here. But it’s worth a little discomfort to sit and savor this beautiful night.

I’m sure people will post pictures later.

People with better views and better cameras.

But pics never do this stuff justice.

While I was cooking dinner, a friend called me.

She’s 67 years old and is still getting over Covid.

I was there when the ambulance took her away, and her grandsons became my boys for several weeks while she battled this ugly virus in the hospital.

She won, you guys.

She beat the odds. ALL of the odds.

Every statistic and all but one doctor gave her very little hope.

She just told me about that one doctor. “He looked like Bruce Willis, Ms. Shea!” I’m sure he did. He was an answer to her prayers.

While she was fighting, she watched people die. Three in the first 10 hours she was there.

She described the floor she was on as one big circle where she could see into the other rooms while looking out her window.

But there were also people in the hallways. And a gurney ready to “take the bodies down” when someone passed away. It sat right outside her door until she asked them to move it.

They did.

She asked them to shut the door to hide the darkness of the dying from her.

She asked the nurses and doctors to speak positively and with HOPE when they came into her room.

They agreed.

She said they were so weary. And though it pained her, she soon realized God allowed the staff to come into her room to get away from the more critical patients.

So she started praying for the staff, too—one by one.

I wondered if they were drawn into her room because they felt her prayers and His presence there.

She said the things she saw during her time in the hospital were absolutely horrifying.

She can’t believe she’s home.

She knows she’s a miracle.

In fact, she went to the doctor today, and they lowered her oxygen again. We celebrated over the phone!!

Maybe you’re weary too.

Maybe you need a room to hide yourself in and find some praying people who will lift you.

At some point over the last year, as we’ve been surrounded by doom and gloom and a pandemic and political fury like we’ve never experienced before… we’ve all needed to step away and shut the door.

Hide ourselves in a safe place and find rest.

We have had to ask for the gurney to be moved.

Peace is, in my opinion, a basic human need – and staring at a gurney ready to take your dead body down to the morgue isn’t gonna bring peace.

My friend didn’t blame anyone.

She knew everyone on that floor was doing the best they could with the tools they had – even the doctors and nurses who were so discouraged.

She took responsibility for herself.

She spoke up for what she needed.

If she could have gotten herself up out of that bed and moved the gurney and shut the door – she would have. She had to ask for help.

There was no blame.

No frustration with anyone else.

Only peace and confidence from God that, though she sat in the middle of a huge and critical mess, she needed to clear the distractions and get settled into a safe place where she could focus on her own healing.

I share this story because I feel like we can all relate.

I have had Covid, but I never had to be hospitalized. Not even close.

Today, my claim to fame is that I’m on my ninth load of laundry, and I made dinner AND dessert.

Such a warrior, right?

I’m still weary. We all are.

To get healed, we have to stop the blame-shifting and name-calling and take responsibility for our own health. We have to shut the door. Or ask someone to shut it for us if we’re too weak.

Move the gurney. Or get someone else to do it.

Start praying.

Lift those we love, those closest to us, and even our enemies. Bless them.

It will bring us peace.

In that silence and solitude, we find healing.

We’ll beat the odds, just like my friend did.

We’ll live to tell the story.

We’ll laugh and celebrate with our friends. Even the ones we may not always agree with. Because, while we’re fighting this weariness, we’ll lift our head just enough to look out into the circle and realize that we’re all hurting – we’re all fighting the demons of this season of life. We’re all in this together.

This is no time to lash out.

It’s time to get still. It’s time to pray.

Social media can be a circle with windows that reveal things we really don’t need to see.

Political views (and spews) might be the most toxic thing we set our eyes on right now.

Shut the door. Rest awhile.

Next time we open the windows and let the light in, we’ll be in a much better place to love people genuinely. And we’ll still have our circle of people to walk with on this journey.

I’m grateful for the imagery and peace I’ve found in this mess of a garage tonight. I’m literally sitting on an old recliner with MORE dirty clothes under me. I need to put them in the washing machine. That’ll be load #10. But who’s counting??

First – I’m going to look up and remember the One who holds us all together and paints a beautiful masterpiece in the sky no matter how messy the earth looks. I’m going to get my own perspective and enjoy Him at this moment. As I said, other people will post pics from their porches and backyards later, but I need to get my own view from my place in this world. And find peace in that. Find healing.

Though everyone’s views may be different, He’s got us all in His hands.