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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Frog In The House

October 3rd, 2007

There are some differences between this place I’ve been for a month and Phoenix, the place I was for the past 14 years. For starters, Lubbock is more than ten times smaller. Had I come here straight from the farm, it would have seemed like a big city. But moving from 4 million to 220,000 is like forgetting to change your clock on daylight savings time and showing up for Sunday church to find an empty parking lot. You wonder where all the people went.

Another change, pleasantly so, is the temperature. Unlike Phoenix, which turns the burner to “high” in May then walks away for six months, here it actually cools off at night. And more often than not it’s breezy. So every night I crack the garage door six inches, open all the windows and the back door, and create a mini wind tunnel in the house. After years of triple digit heat, cool air I don’t have to pay for is a treat.

Last Friday night I was working at my computer with Emma on my lap. She was writing on a clipboard, forcing me to practice my no-look typing skills. She glanced into the hall area outside my office, turned back to her drawing and with the calmness of a crisis hotline operator said, “Daddy, there’s a frog in the house.”

Maybe it was because she wasn’t screaming or maybe because no one’s ever said that to me before, but it made me look. Sure enough. Sitting on the throw rug, staring right at us was a frog. Not a little baby frog who lost his way. A big fat frog who had toured the kitchen and was ready to see the rest of the house.

I started laughing. “Emma, go get me a cup to catch him in!” She ran to the kitchen and came back with a tiny pink plastic tumbler that would have been fine for catching tadpoles. More laughing. “Emma, that’s too small. Go get a big one!” This time she’s got it but in the meantime Froggy had demonstrated his considerable leaping ability several times and is one hop away from introducing himself to Annie, sleeping in her bed.

We finally corner him. Then a capture and release in the backyard. Last we saw him, he was headed happily for a hole in the fence. Maybe he’ll visit the neighbors tomorrow.

Emma and I were still laughing about it days later. She slapped herself on the knee and giggled, “Daddy, how did that happen?!” Good question.

And the answer is simple.

Our door was open.

There’s something about an open door. It’s inviting. In a long hallway of offices or classrooms you walk right past the closed doors without a thought. But an open door tempts you to peek in, even if it isn’t your destination. We wonder…who’s in there? What’s it like inside? Even if the open door is to a broom closet full of mop buckets and cleaning supplies, I bet you still turn your head. In fact, I would wager that we couldn’t not look. There’s something irresistible about an open door.

I think we like open doors because we all have a desire to feel welcomed. All of us want to belong. Who doesn’t like to hear the words, “Hey there! Come on in!” (Unless it’s someone in scrubs pointing us to the chair for a root canal.)

Sometimes we humans wonder why we don’t have friends. Sometimes churches wonder why they aren’t growing. In both cases excuses are made. They don’t care about us. They are stuck on themselves. They are self-absorbed. Folks just don’t get what we’re about.

Maybe.

Or maybe it’s because our door isn’t open.

Open the door of our souls and let ourselves be known for who we really are with our hopes and dreams and flaws and struggles and we’ll have more friends than we can count. People are drawn to authenticity.

Open the door of our churches and dump out the self-aggrandizing programs on the inside that have become more important than the people on the outside. When people get that a church is genuine about God’s grace, growth is inevitable.

We all want to feel welcome. We all want to belong. We all need God’s grace.

It all starts with an open door.

“I (Jesus) am the door; if anyone enters through me he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” – John 10:9