Prayer Closet

It is difficult to find a solitary place when you are the guest on a television program. A few weeks ago I was in Canada and appeared on “100 Huntley Street” to discuss my book, “No Mercy.” As is my custom, after they had applied my makeup and guided me to the Green Room to await the start of the program, I slipped out to find a solitary place to discuss things with Father.

Television is a heady media. Unlike radio, it is visual and about appearance. Walking down the halls of Crossroads Television Network with makeup all over me is a dead giveaway that I’m “a personality.”

I was polite and I smiled and I greeted people, but I needed a quiet place to consult with my Father.

The more I walked, the more my morning coffee guided me. At first I viewed my necessary pit stop as an interruption in my quest, but when I entered the Men’s Room I remembered: Bathrooms in television studios are abnormal. Unlike the airport or a restaurant, the bathrooms in a television studio contain dressing rooms and showers. I had found my quiet place.

I sat down in the chair between the sink and the commode, rested my elbow on the sink to my right and my arm on the grab bar to my left, and as is my custom I asked Father while enveloped in solitude if He had any guidance for me before I “went live.”

I discovered some years ago to seize the isolation of my hotel room, my truck, and my house to my advantage. The cue that reminds me to capture my last moments of quiet is the door knob/handle.

Before I touch the handle to leave, in this case, the Men’s Room, I ask, “Father, do you have any final words for me before I leave this solitary place?” And then, I wait until He has had time to reply or is finished speaking to my heart and mind.

Once our conversation is complete, I check my fly one last time—that is a critically important step if you are on stage or platform—grab the door knob, and step out to face whatever comes my way.

Inside the labyrinthine hallways of Crossroads Television, buried down a half-hall from an unused makeup room, behind the door marked “Men,” and shielded behind a swinging door affording the privacy of a loo, I consulted with Father in my makeshift prayer closet before going on stage. Then I checked my fly—and then, and only then, did I touch the handle to the door.

But whether speaking on camera to what they told me was an audience of a million, or getting out of the truck to visit my Dad in the care facility, a door knob/handle/latch is my reminder to pause in the quiet and follow the lead of my Older Brother who leveraged solitude to His advantage. In fact, He frequently retreated to secluded places to visit with His Father.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now, you know, the rest of the story.”

So, as you watch this clip of the interview, and consider the headiness of being “on camera,” consider where my morning started.

The fundamental, life-skill of solitude is essential to our wellbeing. For Hank, the main character in "No Mercy," it starts with his morning stretches.

For me, it starts with a door knob.