We’re in our other home, but it’s unfamiliar. Besides another country, the pace of a giant city is something to get used to. Kids have one pace, they’re feel free to move as they like. I’m edgy and frustrated by them and my failure to speak patiently, my unwillingness to be incovenienced. I snap like it’s a relex. Why can’t I get better at this?
After breakfast, we travelled by train a ways out to see Azalea bushes. Nezu Shrine is surrounded by them.
We arrive and I’m engrossed with “why?” Why the red gates? There is a tunnel of them here. Do more of them make the path more sure?
There are coins clanking into a box, a bell rung by one person at a time, heads bow, hands clap. Just maybe someone will hear.
I walk through the red gates, and think of the effort man on every continent has made to find a way to God.
I remember my downcast heart this morning. A whisper in my ear reminds me no temptation has overtaken me except what is common to man, and a way out, a place to stand under is provided.
My failure is not unique. My gateway is.
My way out has been made by hands tired from cutting, nailing, smoothing, and painting. The hands of a carpenter who used his building skills for things of this earth. But when time came to build a gateway to freedom, his hands hung and bled.
Only belief, the simplest request, but not the easiest.
I stand watching and clicking. The scenery is beautiful. I still don’t know what those red gates mean. Is it coincidence, the red? Like the Israelites painted their doorways with the death of a lamb, death passing over them?
Among the flowers, I’m revived.
I’m not here to ring a bell to wake Him, or drop an easy donation to earn God’s ear.
I’m here to remember the red . . .the gate that holds the weight of my everyday failures.
My way out . . . and in,
He is my hope and joy.