A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Jewels in God’s Crown

by Philippa Winch

by Philippa Winch

Jenny could be likened to a can of coke. She had a bubbly personality. She had come into our lives when a friend of ours had found her camping alone and invited her to move into their flat.

Although Jenny came from a rocky background, she came to know the Lord and gave him both her heart and her life.

She was accepted into Teachers Training College and began studying to become an Early Childhood teacher.

It was while Jenny was in her second year at Teachers College that I was invited to celebrate her twenty-first with her. A group of us went to Jenny’s party on the Saturday night. The following day Jenny, her flatmate and I planned to go to Wellington for the day. We had heard about Death by Chocolate and were determined to get the certificate to announce we had survived the experience!

On our way home we stopped at a fish and chip shop in Jenny’s hometown to pick up dinner. Jenny and I went in to order the takeaways. As we sat in the fish and chip shop a gentleman walked in, he had noticed us waiting and would often be caught looking at us.

I quickly put this down to curiosity. Everyone around us was dressed in a casual manner – Jenny and I must have stood out a mile. Having packed lightly we were both in our good clothes that we had also worn to the party the night before. It was no wonder he was a little confused.

Our number was called. Jenny politely collected the bundle of fish and chips from the person at the counter, flashed the curious gentleman her sweetest smile and walked out of the shop. For a moment it seemed as though the man could be bowled over with a feather.Fish and Chips

It wasn’t until leaving the shop that I discovered Jenny knew the gentleman in question. That what had just happened was no coincidence – without a word being said, God had used this experience to teach a valuable lesson.

In Proverbs 3:10 it is written, “A capable, intelligent and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.”

Saint Francis of Assisi was once quoted as saying, “I often preach and only when necessary do I use words.”

This couldn’t be truer in Jenny’s case.

“Did you notice the man at the fish and chip shop who kept looking at us?” Jenny enquired as we headed for the car. I admitted that I had, after all it was a little hard not to.

“He’s a policeman”, Jenny continued.

“Oh”, I said as if that explained everything.

Jenny had grown up in a place where there was high unemployment with little opportunity for young people to better themselves. Many left as soon they were old enough, the ones who stayed behind found other avenues of entertainment. Gang-related activity had become a major problem in the area.

It was hard to imagine that this well-groomed, polite young lady had once been a part of this life.

Jenny had come from a large family who were quite well-known. They were synonymous for one thing – trouble!

The policeman at the fish and chip shop had recognised Jenny straight away. He had met up with Jenny a number of times – never quite in this capacity.

As we sat eating our fish and chips Jenny told us about what a Saturday night was like for her as she was growing up. The times that she would pile into a car with other family members to play a game of cat and mouse.

The policeman who we had just met would chase after them with sirens blearing to try and combat the dangerous speeds they were driving at. For a while Jenny had even lived on the street, she knew the dangers and what to expect, she was street savvy.

Yet what the policeman saw in the fish and chip shop that night was not the street kid he had come to know but the capable, intelligent and virtuous woman mentioned in Proverbs 3:10.

No wonder he looked as though he could have been bowled over by a feather!

How quickly we tend to judge people by their past.

In Zechariah 9:16, Zechariah speaks about the people of the Lord when he writes, “They will sparkle in the land like jewels in a crown.”

How precious this image is. When Jenny was first found camping she was by herself and no doubt afraid. The life she had led held nothing for her but at that time nor did the future.

At some point in everybody’s life people make mistakes; choices they have made haven’t quite turned out as they had planned. At times like this people often wonder, where to from here?

If we take the image of the crown we know that crowns are made out of valuable material such as gold and silver which first of all are subjected to a test in order to see whether they match a suitable standard. God, like a jeweller will often subject us to certain tests because we are valuable to him.

An example of this can be found in the Bible, Job recognised that God was testing him. In Job 23:10 we read, “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold”, that is gold that has been tested in fire. Job’s courageous attitude and belief in God’s ability to use the circumstances of our lives to make us into something more, sets an example even for us today.crown

As we know jewels aren’t simply found they have to be mined for or carved out of pieces of rock.

In Isaiah 61:10 we read, “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness … as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Through the process of giving our hearts and our lives to the Lord and accepting his forgiveness for our sins the Lord is extracting us to be used for His purposes and setting us free not just to shine for him, but to truly sparkle!

What’s more rulers wear crowns as a form of honour. What a privilege it is to be like jewels in God’s crown!

I can just image the buzz down at the Police Station the next day. What happened that night in the fish and chip shop was no coincidence; it was a God-appointed opportunity to invest a little hope in the heart of one policeman that with God as ruler of our lives all things are possible.

It was Jenny’s opportunity to honour her King.

Tagged as: ,

Comments are closed.