Come out of that closet child? lets go somewhere” I would coaxed my daughter out of her bedroom closet on many afternoons. Tenderly, I will always remember the face of her reluctant obedience. Wide eyed and startled, she would leave behind her beautiful world to go for a walk in a park. As we walked, she would slowly awaken out of her imaginary world. Her blue eyes would narrow in the presence of reality . But all that went on in the closet was just as real. Slowly she would tell me of what she saw in the closet. Every conflict was resolved in her closet. And everything good was preserved.
I had other children. I would say to them in a scolding tone, “its time to come out of the closet!” Their shamed faces, I remember ,were pale with reluctance as they were leaving behind an addictive world. It was the only place they knew that they would not feel the pain of this world. Without a word , their pained faces confessed they saw shackles in their freedom and yet knew only freedom in these shackles. Their closet was a world where conflict is resolved with the anesthesia of images or substances
Since creation , Everyday , children all over the world ,are coming in and out of these closets. All of them escaping to make sense of chaos or kill the pain of its effects. We are all children in a garden . And we all have a parent pleading to us “come out of the closet’
Big grown kids nowadays are isolated in their houses. Some are surely hiding shackled in futility and shame . And yet many seem to speak how they hunker down in another kind of closet. The biggest and bravest kids I know still talk about going to a place called their “prayer closet. ” These cloistered closets may be as big as a bedroom or as small as a backpack. Even as flimsy as the hem of Suzanne Wesley’s apron who buried her head in prayer amid 11 children. It is a hiding place for the child of God to enter the beautiful world that has no pain and never dies.
I suppose it was not so different than the duplicitous closets the first children. Adam and Eve lived in. While in their innocent prayer closet, the garden something greater than the present was felt. Eternity unfolded in them as they walked with their Father. Here all was more than they could ask or imagine . But then , temptation birthed sin.In the closet of the garden , they reached for the forbidden. And when the father said come out of the closet. in their shame were hiding in the same closet with their imaginations were pained and their minds became paranoid .
Since then, whole of mankind groans in closets. While some are in prayer closets, others are in addictive closets trying to kill the shame. Instead of hiding in garments of beauty and truth they are hiding in drink or food or images. And what can change these closests ? No paint or remodeling but a full demolition . The closet must be built by desire. And desire can only come from the Builder of all things.
Interrupting the duplicity of man’s desires is a man called Jesus. He comes and builds a place for each child to enter. He comes as the “DESIRE of NATIONS” to establish a closet for every child of God. He has come lying himself down as the cornerstone of the closet. He has come to build a secret place in the midst of dying garden. A sweet foretaste of eternal life where we will not run from closet to closet hiding. Rather taking our toys and taste of wrath, he gives a sweet cup of grace . In this cup To give us wide eyes of wonder at His Beauty and Majesty in this earth. And right when our eyes are wide eyed , The Father comes saying , ” child out of this closet into the world …. and tell tell of all you have seen. ”
The following blogs, in the category of “Church Doors” , will journal my hiding in the Catholic closet. I may lose friends, increase enemies . But, I can no longer hide in the closet . For my Father calls “lets go somewhere .
“But you, when you pray, enter into your room, and having shut the door, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.”
Matthew 6:6 CPDV
I thank my husband George Unglaub, Good Shepherd Church and Blessed Sacrament chapel for every day I have been In Our Father’s Closet.