Second, recognize that the reason you can feel lonely is because you feel capable of a relationship with other persons. If you did not believe that, you would not miss not having a relationship.
The key to the door, of course, is to take the risk of loving and of being loved. It is risky to open up, to being vulnerable, but it is also risky to refuse to let another person into your life. You get locked in a room of loneliness when there are doors open to you.
There is another room where many have remained locked in while doors of opportunity are standing open wide. The rooms are called prejudice, bigotry and racism. It has been my privilege to travel in thirty-eight countries of the world, and, here at home, to help organize an International Council of Culture consisting of more than one hundred-twenty different nationalities.
One of the abiding joys of having had these opportunities is that I have made friends worldwide, some of whom are neighbors, whose culture, religion and lifestyles may be radically different from my own, but who interestingly enough want many of the same things I do for myself, my family, my neighborhood, my country and the world.
It has been a door of opportunity to a much larger, but in some ways a smaller, world. Wouldn’t it make a wonderful difference in our world if everyone who has been taught and who say they believe in the “Golden Rule” would practice it? Could we walk through a door that leads to peace?
There are other rooms in which people find themselves “locked in.” Their names are guilt, grief, finding someone else to blame, addiction, feeling worthless or powerless, and religious dogmatism. You can probably name others. Maybe even your own room is different from some I have named. Listen then to the words of Jesus. He said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he or she will go in and out and find pasture.” What I believe Jesus is saying is that He came into the world to liberate those who are locked in rooms with open doors but do not know the way. So He also said, “I am the way.” Jesus is the door to a different way of life for those who will read His words and follow His way to new life.
One of the things on which I have made up my mind is that I refuse to be locked in a room where I will simply sit and wait until I die. I am looking for doors which are open to me and to anyone else who will go through them, which will help me stay alive as long as I live.
My confidence and my commitment for being able to do this is based on the words of Jesus and Of the Giver of Life, the Holy One who said, “Behold, I have set before you a door which no one will be able to shut.” It is the promise of God of eternal life. Hear the good news! The door is open, and the One who invites you to walk through it is also the One who has promised to be with you always.