Monday, September 19, 2011

Arrayed in Glory

{Written by Johanna Rose}
When I was a little girl, I was given a gift. It was so very beautiful -- more beautiful then anything I had ever known; for it was a palm-sized precious stone, of great worth. And, it was truly magnificent. It was given to me on the day I was born, and from that day on, it served as my constant companion. Even though I didn't understand the worth of such an object then, I always loved and treasured it. As the years passed, the precious ruby became more and more beautiful to me, and thus more and more invaluable. As time drew on, I was certain that there could be nothing out there that would surpass the glory of this ruby-red stone. 

Soon, it was such a huge part of my life that it became my life. 

Nothing could hinder me from looking daily unto its beauty. One afternoon, the idea came to me that I might set it in the window -- that its radiance might shine all the more. Thus, I walked over to the window seat, which stood a little distance from me, and I set it in the center of the velvety cushion therein. And, it did shine with a new beauty. As the sun rose in the morning, I watched as it lit up slightly, with a subtle glow. Every time I passed my window, I glanced longingly at my ruby -- and each time I did this, I felt something inside of me. Some sort of longing. I felt as if I needed to hold the ruby, and caress it -- but even then, when I could feel it within my palm, I still felt something deep, down within my heart. Something that I didn't altogether understand, and often succeeded in suppressing.

One afternoon, an invitation came to my doorstep. I had been invited to a gathering held at the home of my dearest friend. I found myself full of alacrity -- for already the thought of showing off my ruby had grown within my heart, and had filled my every thought. 

I hastened to my dressing room, and found a gown which I found perfect for the occasion. It was a bright, shimmering green, which rustled with every movement. The bodice front was arrayed in hundreds of small, shiny diamond-like stones; and the skirt hugged my form in a attractive manner. I considered, with a happy sigh, that I would gather much attention from such dazzling attire. I smiled. My eyes wandered reluctantly from my closet mirror, to my nightstand, where there stood a small clock. My smile faded quickly, as I found I was already a few moments late....

Before long, I arrived. I was right. I did draw the eyes of those around me, I looked back at them with an air of superiority, and advanced into the room. I looked around, and soon my eyes met those of my dearest friend. However, as I looked to her dress, I couldn't believe what I saw. It was so simple -- and not showy at all. It was a pure white, full, floor-length dress -- the bodice was simple, with a higher, and more rounded neckline then my own. And opposed to my sleeveless top, her sleeves were, again, full -- and graced her arms with a feminine charm. Her brunet curls fell down all around her sweet face -- and were pinned with a simple jeweled tiara. And what a beautiful tiara it was, for it held a glow about it that I could not explain at the time. Deep within my heart, I was envious of her -- for she seemed so -- different -- and innocent. I felt as if I was outdone again. I felt as if, once again, I was secondary. At this, I wanted to burst forth with a rush of tears. But instead, I forced a smile to conceal my pain. That is when I remembered the ruby, which was hidden within my purse; for no matter how beautiful the others might me, I would still surpass them all with my treasured ruby.

Soon, my opportunity came. The company had all gone, and it was just I and Crystal -- for that was my dearest friend's name. I pulled it from my purse, and held it before her eyes. It seemed even more beautiful then what I had remembered. With a smile I said "I have been longing to share with you my prized possession, my dear." I said these words with an air of sweetness, but inside I wanted more then anything to make her envious of me. I continued, "This of course is of great worth -- so I won't permit you to touch it, but you are welcome to look at it." With this, I laid it in front of her on the table -- hoping to see some sort of longing in her eyes.

But instead, as I tore my eyes away from the beauteous ruby, I met the gaze of my dear friend. Tear's streamed down her cheeks. However, they were not tears of longing, or want -- nor were they tears of desperation or misery. They were tears of pity. They were tears shed for me. Crystal reached out her hand, and took mine in hers, and whispered slowly, "You are my dearest friend. I can't bear to see you like this -- I want to show you something. Will you permit me to take you to see my most valuable possession?" My mouth opened to speak, but words could not be found. I choked down a sob of my own, and nodded silently. With my precious ruby -- my entire life -- still fastened in my hand, she led me down the hall until we reached a room.

Just before pushing the door open she said simply, "Close your eyes." I did, but as I did, I held my ruby even tighter within my grasp. I was led in. Even with my eyes closed, I sensed a strong light just in front of me. At last, I heard her say gently, "Open."

Before me lay an object which had such beauty exceeded anything I had ever seen -- anything I had imagined -- anything I had ever even hoped of there being. It was a pure white, glistening diamond -- which, although the room was not lit -- contained a light that illuminated with  a radiance beyond what words can describe. It held such a purity -- such a radiance -- words can not even describe the beauty that lay before me at that moment. It is too inexplicable -- I haven't the skill to portray such a jewel....

My own precious ruby -- which at one time had filled my life with such pride, and was considered the most beautiful of all possessions -- fell to the ground, and shattered into dozens of pieces. The sound rung in my ears -- it was if my entire life -- my heart -- had cracked with it, and lay broken in a trillion pieces -- never to be mended.  Tears welled up in my eyes, and the sobs of pain that had been suppressed my entire life were to be suppressed no longer. Pain and sorrow flowed from my broken heart. I realized how worthless I was, when compared with such beauty and purity as this. {2 Corinthians 3:10-11} Furthermore, I saw how hopeless it would be to even try -- for I felt past the point of reconciliation. I fell on my knees, and cried out to God in a trembling voice, "O wretched sinner that I am! Who will save me from this life of sorrow and pain?" {Romans 7:24-25}

It was then, that I heard the voice of Crystal once more, "This jewel is a gift from my Heavenly Father. It is a gift that is given freely -- to anyone who asks, it shall be theirs." Too this, I only shook my head in grief. I wiped away the tears that rolled down my face, and exclaimed "How could one such as I be permitted to even touch something so glorious as this? I am undeserving. I am nothing. I will never be able to obtain a something so glorious -- so radiant and pure."

Crystal moved towards me, arrayed in her pure white gown, she shined with the same light which filled that of the diamond. In her hands, she carried a tiara. It was small, and delicate, yet more beautiful then any adornment I had ever procured. She held it out to me and whispered, "This is your gift -- created from this very jewel. Won't you except it? Will you give up the life which was yours, and be transformed into a Princess of Light?"

I breathed in, and found it hard to speak. However, when I found my voice, I could not help but ask "How can it be that a sinner, such as I, can where something so glorious?" I sobbed, and bent over with my hands to my face.

Crystal spoke once again, with a tone in her voice that held a kindness and joy which I had never experienced, "None of us are worthy -- neither you, or I can obtain this gift." She paused here, and I felt her hand on my shoulder. "But, there is someone who has made intervention for us." I lifted up my face, with a visage that held question and doubt. For surely, this could not be true. But Crystal continued, "He loved you and I so very much that He died for you, that you might live in joy and peace. He loves you more then you can even imagine, and this crown is a gift from Him. A symbol that you are His own." I was given over to speechlessness. How could it be that such love was shown to me? How could it be that such grace, should come to my aid. Could it be true that such beauty could be revealed within someone such as I. More tears came. But, rather then tears of sorrow, they were tears of joy -- and peace. For I realized that I had been bought at a price, in order that I may live for my redeemer. {1 Corinthians 6:20}

"Will you accept His gift?" 

My lip quivered, as I silently nodded.

Crystal knelt beside me, and place the crown upon my head, with the words "You are a Daughter of the King -- now -- and forever." As she place the crown upon my head, I noticed that I too was now clothed in a pure white -- woven with gold, and was arrayed in radiance. {Psalm 45:13} And for the first time in my life, I felt a unsurpassed joy bloom in my heart. And for the first time in my life, I felt at peace. I felt a purpose. I felt Jesus.

Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith,
Who, for the joy that was set before Him, 
Hebrews 12:2

6 Words of Grace:

Rachel said...

that was a beautiful post, Miss Johanna!

Emily Ruth said...

Miss Johanna, that is simply beautiful! You portrayed salvation and how it is a precious treasure so well! Stunning.

Hope's Treasures said...

what a beautiful story, you are very talented.
Rachel Hope

Rachel Sokolik said...

This was beautiful! :D

Miriam said...

That is such a lovely story, Johanna! May we share the precious truth with everyone that we come in contact with!

Lindsey Marie said...

This was so well written, Johanna! What a great way to present the message of how different we are without Christ!