Sluice box. It's a funnel shaped apparatus used by diehard gold panners along Alaskan streams. The rocky, charcoal gray sludge lining the shores looks anything but promising. A wayward seed would find it far too unwelcoming for roots to take hold and for life to spring forth. Even the color seems void, a murky amorphous blur of flat hues.
But hope prevails over what the eye can see, as stragglers from another era of gold hunters dip their shovels into the mire, and place the contents on the front of the sluice box. And then the magic begins. Clear crisp water from the stream washes over the ooze, sorting the layers, even generations of concealing cloaks from the glistening particles that lie within. One by one they begin to appear, catching the rays of the sun to unmask the true beauty that has been there all along.
Gold panners are a bit of what we are at Behind Every Door. We have decided to believe the best about every individual who enters our midst. We have committed ourselves to the process of discovery. We are choosing to see with eyes of the heart. There is gold there, despite the likely reality that life in poverty has left its residue, and we are giving ourselves to see it shine.