What are you like when you lose your keys? I get myself ready, I’m on time. Just grab the keys and…. Where are the keys? Not in my pocket. Not in “the special place we have for them so we will always know they are”. Not in my bag. I start looking under the papers and books on my desk. Now I’m late. I need the keys not just to lock the door after I leave but to unlock it to get out. I think there is a common body language for losing your keys. You rush into a room and stand still with your feet firmly on the floor, about 2.5 feet apart, knees bent and hold your hands out like you are holding a gym ball in front of you. Balms in facing in wards, your fingers are splayed as far apart as they will go. You shake your hands a bit up and down and then run to another room and repeat the gesture. It means “I can’t find the keys, they should be here but they are not, this is not my fault, this is hopeless, perhaps I can attract them by the power of my desperation for them or at least discharge the frustration through my fingers into the ether.”
Worse still are those front doors that lock automatically when they shut. You just nip out to bring the milk in (or to explain to the waiting blue tits that you get it delivered from Tesco’s now). You bend down and “click” the door shuts and locks. The expression for that is to simply freeze motionless willing inside for that not to have just happened. Willing the world to stop and go back just a second. But it doesn’t. You used to be able to climb in through a window but now we are so security and energy conscious that you are not likely to look up and see your salvation in the form of an open first floor window.
Keys are important because they give you access and restrict others from having access. Some doors you want to be on the inside and some on the outside. Some open and some closed.
I’ve just preached on another of Jesus’ letters to a church, this time the one in Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13) and no, it’s not about cheese. It’s about keys and access, opening things and shutting things.
The Christians in Philadelphia didn’t have any keys. Doors were being shut on them in every direction and their options for living were being severally limited. I’ll blog on that in a few days but for now I need to get my head round the next letter to Laodicea.