The song, Broken Things, by Matthew West reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago. Just like when we read the Bible, sometimes a phrase, word, or entire story that we’ve seen before will jump out at us and give us a new perspective or fresh encouragement. That’s the case with this song. There’s a line near the beginning where Matthew sings, as a Divine voice, “Child, don’t you know that the first shall be last and the last get a crown?”
That’s it: the crown of life that we’ll receive for running the race and fighting the good fight is the word that jumped out at me and reminded me of the poem I’d written over 40 years ago. Here you go. The video for the song is below, as well.
The crown’s almost transparent-
there’s just a touch of blue.
And the crown is always present
and it’s faithful and it’s true.
The happiness I found when the
crown became just mine:
Inexpressible and eternal as it’s
by Your design.
Never before have I received such
gift or such reward
As the crown You’ve placed within
my hands and in my heart is stored.
The song goes on to talk about how God uses broken things, even broken people, to accomplish His work. And He does this because He loves us and He wants our cooperation in creating and in living within His Kingdom. Such a surprise; such an honor. Another reason we receive a crown, of course, is precisely because we are not merely a “beggar in the presence of the king.” We are that in our frail, mortal state without God’s grace. But by God’s grace, we are children of the King, brothers and sisters in Christ, and with Christ! So, the crown that we receive at the beginning of our eternal life is something that we’ve been wearing all along, though none but God could detect it. When we were baptized into Christ, we were made heirs with the Son of the Father’s Kingdom. We are royalty! We get to wear our crowns one day. We can’t earn them, but we can remain faithful and so receive them. God’s promises are true. It not only ‘can’ happen, it will!
Music video by Matthew West performing Broken Things. (C) 2017 Sparrow Records