They gave her kitchen appliances and things like that. I couldn’t care less about those as a three or four year old. The object I focused on was THE CROWN! I didn’t even care that much about the robe they put on her. The crown was the big deal for me.
Mama and I also watched the Miss America pageant. (Daddy was usually at work and wouldn’t have wanted to watch anyway.) That crown was a prize I coveted, but I didn’t want to have to wear a swimsuit to get it. Besides, I knew that even though any of my sisters would have been pretty enough to win it, I wouldn’t measure up to their beauty.
I found myself longing for that crown. At that time I told Mama I wanted a “prown”. I really started out young with this desire. I must have talked about it non-stop. I wondered if I ever would obtain a crown of my own.
One day, an opportunity presented itself. A wonderful woman known to me as Sister Little came to our church and held a children’s crusade. At the front of the church, on the back of the platform, were two ornate chairs. Each chair bore a crown.
She informed us that one crown was for a boy and one was for a girl. The way to earn the crown was to memorize the Bible verses she gave to us. THIS WAS MY CHANCE!
Mama helped me all during the days of the crusade to learn a verse. I knew I had won the crown. On the last day each of us stood before Sister Little and said our verse. Most of the children my age crashed and burned.
Finally, it was my turn. I proudly said, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” She smiled and told me I did a great job. The next kid said, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning…”
Wait! I thought. There is more? How did I not know this? The last child recited more than anyone. She won the crown! I was crestfallen. The second place child was given a princess crown.
When I got home I cried real tears. Jim, my brother who was in high school and was the only sibling still living at home, must have felt sorry for me. He went to the corner drug store and purchased the crown pictured above for me.
My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw the beautiful prize. I couldn’t believe that this teenager, who considered me a pest, loved me enough to give me the desire of my heart. I never looked at him the same again.
I wore it almost every waking moment. When I was in fourth grade the teacher assigned me the part of Queen Isabella in the school play. I was ready with my crown. Mama sewed a red taffeta gown for me to wear to complete the look. I had finally become a real queen.
I learned that those who love the Lord will receive a crown when they get to heaven. Now, I KNEW that would be the ultimate crown. Through my growing up years I kept that prize in mind. Of course I wanted to be with Jesus and I thought the crown He would give to me would be so sweet to have.
It might have been silly, but this thought was in the back of my mind even when I was eighteen and going to Bible College. Our choir travelled and sang in many towns. We had several quartets and trios that also performed. One quartet sang a song that struck me between my eyes. They sang, “We’ll cast our crowns at His nailed scared feet. Our joy complete in His presence sweet. Eternity’s greatest privilege will be casting our crowns at His feet.”
Somehow I had never read the Scripture this referenced. The crown had been my goal in life. It may seem silly, but I am being honest. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to give my crown to the Lord.
As I held tightly to this future crown, I thought of my Friend, my Savior, The One Who loves me. How could I hold on to something like that when all glory and honor and praise belong to Him?
If giving this prize to Him brings Him any representation of my gratitude to Him, I gladly lay it at His feet. I think of the words of a hymn we sang when I was young: “Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face. There to sing forever of His saving grace…” Even a perfect crown, created by Him, is not as precious as Jesus.