Come In!

Along the winding road I drove, heading to an interview outside the city. Fresh out of college, I had landed an intern reporter position at a large daily newspaper in North Carolina. Long before GPS days, I gripped the address as I searched for the little dirt driveway in the boondocks – past two ducks, a cow and an old oak tree. There! A quick skid; back ‘er up. I turned left and parked beside the small clapboard house with chipped gray paint. The man in the house pointed to the back yard.

“That’ll be my dad,” he said.

The dust stirred in the sultry summer heat. I shaded my eyes from the afternoon sun as I shook my head and made my way to the crumpled tin trailer, half rusted, half burned.  I knocked.

The door burst open. A wiry orange man with whiskery hair popped out like a Jack-in-the-box.

“Come in! Come in!”

A stench gushed, engulfing me. As if he’d lifted a dam, the valley of my senses filled with the smell of garlic mixed with dead rodents stashed in the back of an oven.

“Lord…” My eyes burned but I kept my smile.

He was an elderly man, up in his 80s, with bright blue eyes encased in bloodshot whites.  He had the energy of a kid after one of those 5 hour shot drinks. I stepped inside and he started talking. He didn’t stop for three hours. Told me all about the fire that burned his trailer, and how he walks 10 miles a day to get a watermelon and garlic, which he eats. And that’s all he eats.

The poor man hadn’t cleaned his two burner stove in years, and the sink was piled high. But he was happy. He told me about his latest star theory and I took notes like a good reporter. I smelled like—and tasted—garlic for the next week.

But I’m going somewhere with this, and you know it.

I love this picture of entering into a space, encountering a person and coming out smelling like the room and, quite frankly, the man.

As believers, we enter into an exquisite holy place filled with the incense of His majesty and our hearts poured out before Him in worship and prayer. It is a sweet, sweet fragrance, the opposite of what I experienced in the garlic pit.

The Scriptures say His Name is like fine oil, fragrant perfume poured forth. (Song of Solomon 1)  The Word also says our prayers are incense rising before Him, and the elders hold our intercessions in bowls before the throne. They rise with the sound of worship (the harp). (Revelation 5)

Mary poured pure nard on the feet of our Lord Jesus. Have you ever poured oil on someone’s feet? You come out smelling like that oil.

Our worship is like this. We enter the most holy place by His blood and by worshiping Him in spirit and truth.  From our hearts.  Deep within.  He opens the door.  His Spirit overflows the heavens and so we are enveloped. We are overwhelmed by His sweetness. We come away smelling like Him.

And while it probably lasts a while—that precious aura of having been in His presence—who wants to wait another week for a visit? Get me back to the secret place!

The king has brought me into His chambers. (Song 1)

Far more than the interview in the trailer dwelling, I want to write what I see and hear. I want to take note of His words and phrases. I want to soak up every thought He shares and breathe in His glorious presence. If I can stay in an interview three hours, what about prayer?

The awesome wonder is this. The mystery. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

He knocks on the door of my little burned, stinking trailer and says, “Here I am. I’m coming in. Tell me everything.”

I am blown away. His presence is everything. He breathes in me. He whispers in me. He births peace and joy and supernatural love—wave after wave. He coaches me. He directs me. He tells me what to do. He shares stories and insights. He asks me how I am. I ask Him, too.

I ask what’s on His heart. I ask Him about others. About plans, purposes, hopes, dreams.

I surrender to His presence. I am in Him. He is in me. It’s a great mystery and worth the risk of knocking … answering … and entering.

“Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

“I am the door.” (John 10:9)

“I am the gate for the sheep.” (John 10:7)

“Lift up your heads, oh ye gates. Be lifted up ye ancient doors. That the King of glory may come in.” (Psalm 24:7)

“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here and I will show you …’” (Rev. 4:1)

“Knock and it will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7)

“In His presence is full joy.” (Psalm 16:11)

“Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev 5:8)


Be Blessed with His Every Blessing!

Joan Hutter


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