He carefully chose the key from the bunch nestled together on the silver ring. It was larger than the rest, with special markings: three numbers and the letter A, clearly marked. It had an extra hole drilled through it and the locksmith’s details recorded, just in case.
He knew it was special. It was one of only a few, entrusted to a small group. It allowed him access to the building he stood before.
It was a privilege to hold one of these keys. He remembered the day he had been ushered into a tiny office and had signed his name in the book. The date next to his signature was a long time ago now, but the record of his privilege remained. With privilege had come responsibility. He’d been aware of these responsibilities on that day, and they remained at the forefront of his mind still as he typed the code into the keypad, the other kind of key which had also been entrusted to him so long ago.
The key had only been used on special occasions.
Today was cold and frosty; his hands stung as he fumbled the bunch of keys. It was early on Sunday morning. He was, as usual, the first there. His was the privilege of opening up for everyone else.
Carefully, he pushed the key into the lock, he twisted it slowly to the right, appreciating the perfect fit. The tumblers engaged, each of them clicking into place, each one vital to the success of the whole. He was in.
He punched in the code for the alarm, the six digits he knew so well that he didn’t need to look at the keypad. Already his eyes were sweeping the building, composing his list of tasks. There were the lights to switch on, the heaters to crank up, the coffee pot to be filled.
Few had the privilege of being first. He would open up, warm the building in preparation for the worshipers, prepare for the day with his service and his prayers. He couldn’t sing well and had never learned to play an instrument, but his praise was to be there at first light, preparing the way for the saints to gather. His praise was practical, but no less vital or valuable.
His master was smiling; “well done, well done my faithful one. Although your worship is invisible to many, it is precious to me. Well done, you know my heart, for you open the way for others.”
Written by Peter Swift