Sunday, September 29, 2013
"Always wear your invisible crown." I lifted this phrase from the Facebook timeline entitled "We the Women" which puts a focus on inspiring women to feel appropriately empowered to be the best person they can be. But my immediate reaction to the quote was... Wait! Crown? What crown? Knowing me, even if I had one, it would be carefully wrapped up, still in the original packaging and perched high on a shelf in my closet waiting for some special occasion to be worn. I've not been in the habit of imagining myself wearing a crown, invisible or not. It would have struck me as vanity because for years my definition of humility was just a little warped...well, actually a lot warped..
How did my interpretation of humility get so bent out of shape? Let me count the ways.... For starters, in a Christian context, I thought humility equaled self-hatred. One classic example: did you ever tape little notes on your college dorm bathroom mirror as a reminder, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, how worthless and sinful you were, to be precise "less than a worm"? You think that's funny? It is, kind of... But I'm serious. This was only the tip of the iceberg of unfounded and faulty information I soaked up through the years. The result? I grew up hating myself, honestly and sincerely thinking this was how to be humble.
Now, what if the little note I put on my mirror had said "Always wear your invisible crown." What a difference that would have made in my life! Though we are made of dust (where worms live...), we are made in the image of God. He assigns eternal significance to our temporal existence. In Scripture, we're promised a crown of life. In fact, the Son of God wore a crown of thorns so we could wear a crown of glory. It is definitely possible to humbly wear an invisible crown (or a real one if you happen to be a royal).
"Always wear your invisible crown" brings all kinds of radiantly positive imagery to my mind. Who doesn't need a touch of shiny and sparkly to boost cloudy moods now and then? To me personally, wearing a crown has a ring of dignity and respect--a reminder to consciously treat yourself and everyone you interact with respectfully, from the youngest to the eldest, regardless of their station in life. And it follows, if we devalue ourselves, we will lack respect for others, barely noticing them because self-hatred is time-consuming and emotionally draining.
So what does "wearing your invisible crown" say to you? It can bring a smile to your face as it serves to jog your memory that you are indeed a child of God. Depending on where you are in your life journey, imagining yourself being adorned with a dazzling crown can make you stand taller, be braver, regain perspective, feel special, hang on longer, reinforce your vision, appreciate more, sense you are unconditionally and eternally loved.
OK, I took my "invisible crown" off the closet self, unwrapped it and tried it on. It felt really good! If you aren't already wearing yours, put it on and you'll see what I mean. I think I'll have to dust mine off though and shine it up a bit. I plan to make it a permanent, treasured accessory in my wardrobe. It may surprise you how good it looks with baggy pj's or sweat pants or a tee shirt you just spilled chocolate on. And it can work marvels on those bad-hair days or nobody-loves-me moments.
Once you've gotten used to wearing it, you may find yourself with the privilege of helping an acquaintance or friend or loved one locate her invisible crown, and perhaps straighten it for her ever so slightly as she tries it on for the first time. But be sure to tell her how awesome it looks!
And remind yourself to "always wear your invisible crown."