I'm going to borrow an excerpt today from my beloved husband's book, "Flagpole Fighting and other lessons my mother taught me." The excerpt is "Faith in the Principle of the Open Door."
So...sit back in a comfy chair and read the lyrical, poetic words of my honeybunch (who was also my favorite writer of all times) There are some small condensations. If you want to read the entire book I believe Ebay still has copies for sale.
Red Oak Lane was named very appropriately. All of the houses had yards that were positively infested with oak trees. In our yard alone, I'm sure the number of trees would have broken one hundred. My mother actually counted them once, but that count escapes me now. I was a member of an informal neighborhood group, loosely calling ourselves the "Flyboys," a name my mother dubbed us because of our undying interest in model planes. After mom had made us a cake one afternoon, icing it green like an airfield, and putting our group's name across it, we voted her best mom in the neighborhood. She was very honored, and to this day still doesn't realize that almost everybody's mom who made us a cake got the same honor. (If you happen to meet her, please don't tell.)
The flyboys incorporated flight into everything. When we would ride our skateboards down the hill, our arms would be flung out as wings. When we rode our bikes, we would do the same over the smooth parts of the road. On the rough parts, we flew wounded, with only one wing. The other wing gripped the handlebars tightly. When we ran, we ran with abandon, zooming through the trees of our yards, occasionally grazing one and scraping our young bodies. It was okay then, we were resilient and still had lots of skin. I must have earned dozens of Purple Hearts that way.
It was this humble practice that spawned the beginnings of the Principle of Faith on the Open Door. The great yellow deliverer that the general population of the world calls a schoolbus ran its route up behind our house. After being school-wound for the last six or seven hours, we would spring from the bus belly the moment that its door swung wide. Rarely remaining standing, we would more often than not be carried by our forward momentum into a rolling impromptu wrestling match. When we had tired of that, we would start the descent to my house. Its backyard was the only shortcut to the rest of the street, so we would have a good number of children running down through it every afternoon. Of course, the flyboys didn't merely run down it, we strafed it, with all the appropriate sounds and gestures of an airborne squadron. I would be the first to peel off from the formation, and veer up my back steps to the kitchen door.
My mother had been noticing this from inside, and it wasn't long before she was ready for my dive bomb. Timing it just right, she would fling open the door just as I approached it, allowing me safe entry into the home without having to fold my wings. As the ritual escalated, soon my mother made sure she was there every afternoon, waiting for me to land. It got to be a spectator sport for the rest of the kids coming down from the bus. I started adding aerial flourishes and, growing braver, ran as fast as I could into the door with my arms flung wide, having complete faith that the door would open. Entering the controlled airspace of the kitchen, I would flop onto the floor, completing a three point landing on my stomach. Every afternoon I did this, having complete faith that the door would open wide, saving me from certain door destruction. And every afternoon, guided by the sure hand of my mother, the door opened.
It was this experience that started me on the road to Faith on the Principle of the Open Door. It wasn't hard to compare my boyish experience with my later life. When it seemed at the last moment of despair that certain failure and destruction seemed imminent, I closed my eyes and flung myself head first into the doors of the heavens, mustering as much faith as I could that the doors would open. More often than not, the doors would swing wide, guided by the sure but unseen hand of God.
Perhaps it was this principle my mother trusted in as she began her new life as a single mother after twenty seven years of marriage. Perhaps it was her trust in this principle that carried her through the struggles that regaled her. What strong inside force did help her, I'll never know, but I do know that God opened doors for her, and taught a lesson to the rest of us. No matter how dark life becomes, find a door and throw yourself against it. Have faith on the principle of the Open Door.