The Texas neighborhood I reside in is comprised of moderately priced, modest-sized homes (the vast majority with well-kept yards), in a development large enough to sustain it's own elementary school. There are many others like it in our town.
While walking our dogs through the neighborhood this morning, my unusual fascination with front doors led me to realize a significant number of the homes on the streets surrounding our dwelling share the same style of front door.
Although the front doors are similar, each and every home tells a different story. The story the home tells is a reflection of the family living inside it's front door. I am sure some homes tell a happier story than others, and you cannot necessarily guess what the story is just by looking at the front door. Because, while similar in style, some of the doors in my neighborhood are painted bright, welcoming colors and have flower pots on either side as well as a “welcome” mat at the base of the door. Which may lead someone to believe this particular home is a joyful place to be.
And yet, maybe it's not.
Other doors in my neighborhood appear less welcoming, they may be chipped or the stain has faded with exposure to sunlight. Are the home owners less friendly? Are they unable to afford to refinish the door or to purchase a new one? Maybe the inhabitants are so busy helping others in the world they don't care much what the front door of their home looks like...
As I walk along, I wonder if the door is a fascade, or an accurate depiction of the family living behind it's frame.
Unfortunately it is hard to tell, as many people wear colorful masks these days, even inside of their homes.
Toward the end of my journey this morning I realized, just as you can't judge a book by its cover, nor can you begin to appreciate a family by the condition of the front door of their home.
So I stopped trying to guess what type of people live in the home based on their first impression.
The God's honest truth is behind every door there lies a different story, but the ONE certain thing is the people living inside of the home all desire something similar: to be loved and accepted for who they are.
In essence, love and acceptance is all any one of us truly desires.
Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where people didn't judge you by your outside, and were willing to take the time to get to know your inside before deciding if you are worthwhile?
How can we work toward creating a kinder, gentler, more accepting world?
I don't have the perfect answer, but I believe it starts behind our own front door.