The prayers of C-Minor

Open wide my door, my door, my Lord
(Open wide my door)
To whatever makes me love You more
(Open wide my door)
While there’s still light to run towards
(Open wide my door)

— mewithoutYou, C-Minor, Brother, Sister

I find myself praying this prayer when I feel stuck; when I feel like nothing ever changes; when I remember how little I am the master of my own destiny; when I remember my own inability to love God as He deserves. But it’s a prayer I pray with fear and trembling, for such mystery is contained in that word “whatever.” I pray it with fear and trembling because I know it could — might — will — cost me something.

I first head this song when I was 23 or 24, and, of all the artful songs on mewithoutYou’s album Brother, Sister, it has always resonated with me the most. Toward the end of the second verse, the narrator sings

I’m still (ehh… technically…) a virgin
After 27 years –
Which never bothered me before
What’s maybe 50 more?

At the time, being single during a period in which friend after friend and acquaintance after acquaintance was getting married was tough, and facing the idea of remaining unmarried until the day I died, as the narrator of the song does, was … well, tougher. But then came the chorus:

Open wide my door, my Lord
Open wide my door to whatever makes me love You more.

I realized that if I was serious about loving God, it had to be with this kind of heart, one that would receive good and “evil” (Job 2:10) from Him with equal thanks, knowing it was all in the great design of His love for me.

At my church we sing a modern hymn with this same theme. In Jordan Kauflin’s All I Have is Christ, the singer says

Now Lord I would be Yours alone
and live so all might see

the strength to follow Your commands
could never come from me
O Father, use my ransomed life
in any way You choose
and let my song forever be
‘My only boast is You’

“In any way You choose.” Any way.

It’s so easy to sing right through a song without thinking of the implications of what we just sang. “In any way You choose.” Is that not, on further reflection, slightly terrifying? On the one hand, we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). On the other hand, the omniscient, omnipotent love of God often looks pretty strange to human eyes. I often think back to Jeremiah the prophet, whom God commanded not to marry or have children. Hosea the prophet was commanded to “take a wife of whoredom” (whether that means she was a prostitute or just got around). And God’s own beloved Son, Jesus, was poor, maligned, misunderstood, mocked, tortured and executed, just to give a short list of what He endured in His 33 years of life here on earth. Doesn’t that look like a strange form of love to you?

And yet, the most marvelous thing in the world happened through the most gruesome, painful circumstances.

I have had my heart wrung before, wrung beyond what I imagined God’s love for me would look like. I’m sure you have, too. But, on the other side of these wrenching moments, I have seen my love for and understanding of God deepen and broaden. Is that not worth the mystery, the uncontrollableness, the uncertainty of “whatever”?

So I keep trembling. I keep wondering if the bottoms of my bare feet are going to get scorched on holy ground — I am only human, and a small, very ordinary one, at that. But I keep praying the prayers of C-Minor; I keep my hands open; I keep waiting.

Open wide my door, my Lord
Open wide my door to whatever makes me love You more