Friday, August 3, 2012

The Narrow Gate

My first year in Chicago, I used to regularly pass this house on Schubert. It was always exciting because it sits amongst a slew of tremendous homes in Lincoln Park - new homes. Condos that have been built in the past five years. They're big and beautiful. Sturdy and grand (and pricey!). But they have not weathered like this one. You know, when you walk by, that this one has got some life in it.

It stands out for its whimsy and Secret Garden-esque vibe with its lavender and green trim, flowery facade, and old school mailbox. And if you take a closer look, you'll find its owner(s) have made it pretty clear how they feel about this life. It's a beautiful home (sorry I didn't get a shot of the full house!), but their two doors are what I love most. The front door has an attached metal foot plate that you have to squint to read. (I realize I'm probably not the only one peeking through their porch railing to decipher its meaning.) But what's inscribed is this:

"Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death.
- Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception  

And just to the right of its porch, is a wooden gate with a tiny plate that reads, "The Narrow Gate." 

This post really isn't about the house on Schubert, now is it? I'm obviously encouraged by its plates of wisdom because they serve as reminders to fight the good fight. But to those who don't identify themselves as Christians, may I humbly put forth these questions: Have you ever wondered why the world looks, feels, and is so broken? If you're as intelligent as I believe you to be, you're well aware that we are simply fallible beings - we're going to mess up and do selfish things. But, how would your "interior life" a.k.a. heart & soul feel if you knew, its true love and mender was through the Narrow Gate?

Best, and TGIF,



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