You can’t just ignore it. He will keep knocking until the knocking turns into pounding, and if you still refuse to answer, he will break in while you are sleeping and steal some of your most valuable treasures. And then he will disappear into the night, never to be found, never forced to relinquish what he stole. You will have to go the long, hard way around to replace it.
So the only option is to answer the door. You can call the police, but he will know if you do, and will vanish into the night. He is good at vanishing.
Speak to him at the door or let him in for a cup of tea. Allow him to take the conversation places where you in your sheltered, cozy little home have never dared to venture. He wants to convince you that he’s right, that the gaps in your knowledge are your downfall, but be cautious. He is biased. Hear him out on your own terms, bring others into the conversation — particularly a certain other Resident of the house. When you face him instead of cowering under the covers, you will discover the chinks in his armor. Sometimes fear of the thing is more pernicious than the thing itself. Doubt is not the bastion of truth, but he isn’t the devil either.
One word of caution: Don’t invite him into your home to stay. Don’t give him his own room, whether in a forgotten little attic corner or in the luxurious guest room. Because that will not be enough for him. He will not be content to stay there, but will want to take over the whole house. Offer him a drink, talk to him, and then send him on his way. He may come back — in fact, he probably will — but the second time won’t be such a shock, and the third, even less so. We all have our burdens to bear.
Don’t be afraid to speak with this uneasy visitor, just make sure he isn’t your only outside influence. Another’s knocks are less insistent, more gentleman-like, but should be equally attended to. Listen to His truth. It’s not always comfortable either. And He should get not only His own room, but free access to the entire house.
Some think that this isn’t the right response to Doubt, that he shouldn’t be “let in” at all, that the heavenly police can and will bind him and take him away while he’s still on your doorstep. And maybe you’re right; feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section. In my next blog, I will unpack this (imperfect) illustration a bit more by sharing some of my own journey with Doubt.