The Little Boy in the Doorway

When I was a little boy, probably about 7 or 8 years old, my parents took me and my six sisters to an orphanage in one of the poorer areas in Tijuana, Mexico. Since we lived in a Los Angeles suburb, it only took us about three hours to get there from our home. We left early one Saturday morning and arrived mid-morning. They had friends who acted as missionaries and ran a ministry there.  My parents must have offered to come out to visit the site and do ministry with them and on this particular Saturday, we all did it. I remember we brought bags of clothes and other supplies, including a box of Mr. Goodbar candy bars.  When we arrived I remember seeing the impoverished conditions, the unfinished buildings, the trash, and the people who lived in squalor in this despicable place.  There was a little boy about my age who befriended me and we began to play together and with some of the other kids.  We sang songs and interacted with the locals as best we could throughout the day.

Then it came time for dinner. We assembled in the home of the missionary friends of my parents and prepared to eat and have some evening fellowship.  The little boy that I had been playing with throughout the day wanted to come in and eat with us, but was restricted by the missionary family because if they allowed him to eat, than all of the others would have to be allowed also and they couldn’t host that many people.  As a result he was asked to leave.  The boy didn’t want to leave, he wanted to stay and eat food with his newfound friend.  They had to forcibly remove the little boy from the doorway to the house. I remember him grabbing the door jam and screaming and yelling that he wanted to come in. As I watched this I remember thinking, ‘how come I get to stay and eat and my friend has to leave?’  I remember that I was sad because in those days, I was short on friends to play with.  I remember them pulling the boy from the doorway and closing the door and locking it so he couldn’t enter.  He eventually left and we ate and fellowshipped and later, after dark, left for home.  I remember getting into the van with my sisters, it was already dark as we headed back. I was tried and I eventually fell asleep enroute to our suburban home, leaving this place where this little boy and his family lived.

I would later piece the experience together from a mature perspective and make more sense of what happened.  We never returned to that orphanage or did any other family ministry trips together after that. I refer to that trip as the Mr. Goodbar trip to Mexico.  We went on a few cross country family vacations, but never to do ministry.

I thought that it was a nice gesture that my folks would make such a trip to do ministry and such, but they never did it again; I am sure also made an impression on them, perhaps for reasons I will never know.

The image of the poor little Mexican boy grabbing the door jamb of the house that day, screaming that he wanted to come in and eat will never leave my head. Sometimes I can still see his face, the despair, the hunger, the anger associated with not being allowed to come and dine as it were.  The Lord would later use that experience to remind me what’s really at stake when it comes to His kingdom.  There are a lot of people in this world, more than not, who are like that little boy in the doorway; they just don’t know it.  He was born to impoverished conditions and lived in a Tijuana dump.  I was born less than 300 miles north into a middle income Christian family where I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the mid-60’s and 70’s.  By the time I was old enough to serve in the military, the Vietnam war had been over for about 7 years.  We were poor, but we always had enough. Compared to the rest of the world, we were rich.  There was a lot of love in our home, a lot of memories, a lot of drama and dysfunction, but we had each other and we were raised in the ways of the Lord, the ways of His Word. We had a good church with good people who were also working through their faith. It was a good ride that I am glad is now over; but that little boy is still in my head, remining me of the millions of people out there who want to come in and eat, who need the Lord, and who don’t want to go to Hell because of their sin.  They are in desperate need of the same Savior who forgave my sin, the same Savior we represented with those Mr. Goodbars that day in that impoverished Tijuana community.   

I have always felt the call of God on my life, ever since I was a little boy.  It wasn’t just the way I was raised, but the things that I was exposed to and overcame.  The temptations and distractions, the world’s way of living and doing life; and yet the Master had another plan and kept me.  This is the way of any calling.  We are going to do one thing and God calls us to do something else, His something else.  We do it for all of the little boys (and girls) who are in the doorway, screaming in their desire to come in and eat, even without knowing it.

John the Revelator describes it this way,

“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” – Revelation 19:6-9

  • While the placement of this banquet in John’s narrative is set just prior to the Lord’s return, the reality is, the banquet has been ongoing since the Rapture, throughout the entire seven-year tribulation.  This is a banquet that is reserved ONLY for the bride of Christ, ‘those who are called’ to attend it.

This sacred banquet is not for the trib-saints or anyone coming to faith after the Rapture.  The souls of those who die in Christ after the Rapture are sequestered under the altar of the Lord for the duration of the tribulation.  People who die in their sin all miss this banquet, they are like that little boy in the doorway, except for them it’s much worse because for them they died in their sin. 

Jesus gives us some perspective in His Parable of the Great Supper,

“Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread (dinner) in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed (crippled) and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’                   – Luke 14:15-24

  • Many scholars believe that Jesus is referencing the forthcoming marriage supper of the Lamb here.  The challenge for the Church is to invite as many people to this feast as possible.  In essence, when we win someone to the Lord, they are welcomed to come and dine with the Master and all those who have loved His appearing. When we win someone to the Lord, they are invited past the doorway and into the home.

That little Mexican boy who was screaming in the doorway that evening in the early 70’s represents the untold millions of people who will miss the Master’s marriage banquet because of their many excuses; and they don’t even realize it.  Once the boy understood that their was food in the house, he wanted to come in and eat with us because he was hungry, as were most of the people living in that area.  The key is that they must understand their predicament, repent, and come to faith in Jesus. For everyone in Hell, it’s too late for them. 

There are so many people in the world today who have marginalized themselves right out of their opportunity to come to faith in Jesus and benefit from the Master’s great supper because of their own short sightedness, desire for sin, and a blatant rebelliousness toward the things of the Lord, beginning with their salvation.  I have made it my life calling to be a good witness of the Master to everyone I come in contact with.  Sometimes it’s just a friendly banter, other times it’s overt discussion, and still other times it’s how I present myself as a minister. 

That little boy in the doorway will always be in my head and my heart.  Here’s to all of the little boys and girls who are still in the doorway, trying to figure out how to receive their invitation to the Master’s great supper. May we all do our part to reach them, win them, invite them to partake in the salvation that the Lord has provided for them and the banquet that accompanies this wedding. I read a recent ad for St. Jude’s hospital where the caption read, ‘Even in uncertain times our lifesaving work must continue.’  I was personally challenged to not give up on saving as many people from the doorway and invite them to come and dine.

One thought on “The Little Boy in the Doorway

  1. This was a long read, but absolutely worth reading!
    Great blog and such rich truths that should break the hearts of Christians and motivate us to reach the lost!


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