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This poem is very good. (To me) it tells of the Christian willing to sacrifice some of what they could have to help others find the way. Very powerful, please take the time to read it!

Gregory Crofford

Sam Shoemaker (1893-1963) served as a pastor in New York City and Pittsburgh. He was instrumental in establishing the spiritual foundation for Alcoholics Anonymous, particularly the need to turn to God as a way of coming out of alcoholism.

Rev. Shoemaker, toward the end of his life, wrote “I Stand by the Door” (aka “I Stay Near the Door”) as an apology for his ministry. I first heard the poem in 1983 during a devotional time at the beginning of Church History class at Eastern Nazarene College, taught by Joseph Seaborn. The poem struck me that day and ever since by its simplicity and vision; what’s more, I’ve found it crosses cultures.

The version of the poem below is from an online tract. The only change that I have made is to update the language, making it gender inclusive.


I stand by the door.
I neither go too far…

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  1. This is such a powerful poem…..Every christian needs to read and take it to heart!!!! I want to be at the door too……but the feelings of them who are deeper inside, I want to feel them now!!!! In major depression….you do not even feel worthy to try to reach out to find the door handle……

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