“Could you open the door for me?”

“Could you open the door for me?”

by Linc Ashby

One evening last spring, in between dropping my youngest daughter off at softball practice, and returning to pick her up, I had enough time to workout. I brought my middle daughter with me. She’s a dancer and a gymnast. She’s the kind of workout partner that’ll humble a man.

We started with 25 push ups and 25 sit ups. She smoked me. She’s eleven. I heard one of the trainers say, “nice,” under her breath, and I thought about saying, “why, thank you...”

Next, we hopped on a stair climbing machine, which I simultaneously abhor and delight in because of its calorie eliminating capacity. Julia metaphorically flew up the stairs. I languished along in a constant spirit of complaint.

Then, I saw him, a man walking around the workout room, ever so slowly with a cane, followed by an older lady. She pushed a wheelchair with one hand, presumably to catch him if he fell. In the other she pushed a distance marking roller to log his progress. He had a brace on his right leg and a helmet on his head.

I saw him later in the locker room. “You gave a great effort out there today. What did you do to your leg?” With slurred speech, he responded, “It’s not my leg. I fell, and hurt my brain.” I was speechless. As he made his way to the door, I heard him ask a man who walked past him, “could you open the door for me?” “Sure, of course.” And just like that, he was gone.

Another man in the locker room got my attention and said, “the story I heard is that he got beat up by three men.” The speechlessness continued...

Our vision at City Church is to renew the city of Houston by bringing the beauty of Christ to broken places. This encounter taught me two things. One, his workout was so more much more beautiful than mine. There’s a deep connection between beauty and brokenness. Two, I long for our church to be a family where you have the freedom to ask for help - “Could you open the door for me?” I also long for our church to be the place where many instinctively and enthusiastically respond, “Sure, of course.” Here’s to Jesus creating space for both!