His name was Eddie.
He stood on our front porch every day and pressed his face against the screen door.
While the wire mesh imprinted his skin, Eddie watched us eat, sweep the floor and listen to Dad read the Bible after supper.
Sometimes the Texas blazed so bright, the pavement burned our bare feet.
So, we stayed inside.
Eddie watched us read and draw and make up talk shows with a Panasonic tape recorder, the buttons as big as Halloween candy bars.
But, he never said much.
Even if we begged him, he wouldn’t come inside.
Mostly, he just watched.
At twelve years of age, I had no idea why a kid with a runny nose and dirty fingernails would monitor every move my family made. Nor, did I care.
But, my parents did.
That’s why they never shut the door when Eddie stood on the other side.
Now, I’m wrinkled and ancient.
And, that screen door is long gone.
But, there are plenty of Eddies still hanging around.
People too loud or too quiet to fit into normal conversation.
Some can’t figure out social cues and end up acting strange.
Others see life so differently they just don’t fit in.
But, they are people
working beside us,
worshiping with us at church.
Part of the neighborhood,
or our very own family.
When they press against the screen door of our lives it can be irritating.
Sometimes their constant presence can be embarrassing.
But, before you rip out your screen door and replace it with a wall,
Imagine His face pressed against the screen door.
And, then decide.