Locked doors keep people out.
That’s their purpose, certainly, and in most circumstances, the lock does prevent invaders. However, if somebody really wants to find out what is behind the closed entry, they’ll find a way inside. Despite security lights and alarm systems of every type, there is a method to get to the other side.
When we were growing up, the only thing we can ever remember locking was our family grocery store and the steel safe in Dad’s office there. Never once can we recall our home doors or car garages being locked. We didn’t even have a key to our home, or at least couldn:t find one when our parents were looking for it, “just to know where it was.
Likewise, outbuildings at home and the farm, including gas storage tanks, were never put under padlock. Once when somebody reportedly stole some gas from Floyd Bosch’s farm tank south of town, we thought about locking our 55-gallon barrel, but we never did. As far as we know, nothing was ever taken.
Of course, we had to have a key to start the car. A second key on the ring fit the trunk, because inside trunk releases weren’t common, and that key could also be used to open the glove box and doors, though they were never intentionally locked. If the door button was accidentally pushed down, there was always a sigh of relief to have that key, too.
Oh, how times have changed. Now, we never deliberately leave our home door unlocked if we’re leaving, and it’s sometimes even secured when we’re going to be just outside out of the home’s view. Our car is always locked wherever it’s parked, unless inside the locked garage, and then sometimes, too, though only by habit.
Why this change of attitude about locking? It’s because we don’t trust other people anymore. In days gone by, thievery was almost unheard of, and seldom did anyone ever lose anything, unless they misplaced it themselves. Not the case, nowadays. Any time homes, buildings or motor vehicles are left unsecured, a break-in will often be reported.
However, there’s one building that should never be locked, in our opinion. Few things get us more agitated than finding or hearing about a church door being locked.
Despite some reported vandalism of and thievery from churches that haven’t been locked, our philosophy has always been, and remains, that God is always home for everybody. Never should one get the feeling “Church is closed. God is away.”
Sadly, times are like in Isaiah 24:10: “The city writhes in chaos; every home is locked to keep out intruders.” Yet, we must never forget Luke 13:25: “When the Master has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, but he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from’.”