A couple of years ago, we did some remodeling at our house. In particular, we changed the way one of the bedrooms was configured a bit, changing the door, adding bookshelves. We wanted to use the room not only as an occasional guest bedroom, but also as an office, and doing so meant we had to address one specific requirement: the closet.
I learned that for a bedroom to be officially designated as a bedroom, it had to have a closet. If we ever decided to sell our house, we couldn’t call our office a bedroom unless it had a closet. So, no matter what else we did to the design and configuration of the office/bedroom, we had to address and accommodate the requirement of a closet. The room already had a closet. But, we reduced its size. Narrowed it, some. But it still passes as a closet of sorts. If there’s a jacket hanging in the office/bedroom closet, I can still open the closet door, reach in and grab that jacket. You might say it’s a small, ‘reach-in’ closet.
But our master bedroom at home has something called a ‘walk-in’ closet. If I want to get to my shirts that are hanging — if I want to pick out something to wear? I have to walk in to that closet. I can’t stand on the outside, like I would in the office/bedroom closet. I can’t even reach my shirts in my bedroom closet unless I walk in.
Even though, in some ways, the ‘reach in and grab’ closet is a bit more convenient, there’s no way I’m going to move my clothes from the walk-in closet to the office/bedroom closet. When I’m trying to decide what to put on every day? I need time. I need some privacy. Walk-in closets are a lot better.
You may not have thought about it recently, but in the King James version of the Sermon on the Mount in Matt. chapter 6, Jesus mentions walk-in closets, too. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” There are other translations of that verse that use words like ‘secret place,’ or ‘private place’ or ‘inner room’ to describe what Jesus is talking about, but I love the word “closet’ to describe my place of prayer.
That imagery reminds me every day that there is a tremendous remodeling always happening in my life. God’s not an occasional guest I’m trying to provide space for in my life. He’s the Master Carpenter. He’s not just rearranging the furniture in the room of who I am. More like being brought into conformity with the image He had in mind when He thought of me. I get to participate in that process, but a ‘grab-and-go’ kind of prayer closet will not do. Jesus said I need a ‘walk-in’ closet; One big enough for both He and I, so we can have a daily confidential and private conversation about those outer garments and trappings of my life.
No question about it: The more I acknowledge my heart as Christ’s home, the more convinced I am of my need … for a walk-in closet.