09
APR
2013

“The Way of the Open Door” (Barbara Mutch)

Barbara Mutch read the following poem (by Miroslav Holub) in celebration of Brian Stelck‘s retirement as Carey’s President. It is entitled, “The Door.”

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden,
or a magic city.

brian1a

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye,
or the picture
of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if
nothing
is there,
go and open the door.

At least
there’ll be
a draught.

 

And then Barbara wrote and read these words that so well reflected Brian’s leadership and life at Carey.

For nineteen years, Brian has led Carey with an open door. Available. Trying his best to remember that his interruptions are his work. No question too small. No visitor turned away. No colleague shut out. Go and open the door.

But Brian’s door was open not here only and not only to us. Heavy duty mechanics and long haul truck drivers in rural Manitoba washed their hands on Friday evenings and came to country churches to learn to read the Bible with skill and heart because the door to theological education was opened to them. Figure skating teachers and funeral directors and furniture store owners studied doctrine and the story of the Church because we have had a president who believes and practices the way of the open door. Go and open the door.

The door was open not only to Canadians. The door was pushed open in East Africa – so that Timothy in Kenya, and Alivera from Rwanda, and Jonas from the Democratic Republic of Congo could ask hard questions about poverty and abuse of power and the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout Africa. The door was pushed open so that Rene could develop vibrant, rural communities in Bolivia and George could train partly-literate believers in the language of their heart. Go and open the door.

The doors of technology and possibility were flung open perhaps the widest of all so that no place on the planet would be too distant that a person who wanted to could not learn. Go and open the door.

This opening of doors is not just a physical act nor is it symbolic only, although it is surely both of those things. This work of opening doors is gospel work. It’s the thing God does. Some of the last words of Jesus recorded in Scripture are words which Brian’s actions have echoed: Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. It’s gospel work – this way of the open door.

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