by HFH Reuvers


Suppose people discriminate against you. Whichever door you knock on, nobody answers. Or they send you from pillar to post using transparant pretext. Why do people dislike you? Is it your behaviour? Even your former comrades don't want to know you any longer. This is a foretaste of hell.

But hell is worse. Indeed, Joseph and Mary, too, knocked in vain on the doors of the inns of Bethlehem. Yet they didn't object there was allegedly no room for them. Because it wasn't their own fault.
If dumb people discriminate against you, you need not object. Martin Luther King knew that the mist of shortsightedness was to clear away. That's why he wasn't embittered. As long as you have a vision or a dream, you won't become bitter. In fact, this can only happen when you see no way out, so when you're shortsighted yourself.
That's why father Titus Brandsma could feel deep compassion on his bullies in Dachau, and forgive them with all his heart. Because they didn't have any prospect of heaven.

You go to hell if you refuse all help people want to give you. If you burn all your boats. You fix everything up all alone, in a dishonest way if necessary. But, in the end, nobody can endure he's all alone. Now when apparently nobody answers the doors you knock on, there's always Jesus who keeps beckoning you. At the day of his suffering, he was even more lonesome than you, but he put his trust in God the Father.
Jesus beckons to you. You may find him whenever somebody puts out his hand to you, and whenever some door is ajar. These are the very hands and doors you didn't notice before. And then, only if you keep stubbornly insisting you have no room for God, whatever He looks like, you've burnt the very last boat behind you. However, such a bad choice is very rare.