crowns for ashes


Thoughts racing now.  Watching pageantry and stories behind the crowns, stories of overcoming and hard work.  Somewhere amidst the flurry of smiles and gowns, it dawns on me: I have not seen a pageant or an American football game in over seven years.  I know.  Tonight was a stunning display of both. {Ahem, go 49ers! A colleague tipped me off on who I should root for. So 49ers or Seahawks it is… this year at least!  I really watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I need my own personal commentator to explain the game to me.  Shhh.  Don’t tell.}

Tonight clad in cuddly pajama pants cradling coffee watching 53 young ladies on TV give their all, and having one eye watching my iPad for the latest NFL scoreboard highlights. Now the hush of a sleeping household. Don’t most {maybe even all} little girls dream of being beautiful princesses and little boys of carrying their teams to great victory over their competitors?  We ALL dream of flying, of shaping the world around us, of making history.

Why?  Perhaps because we are created to.

Preparing to move to Africa in 2006, Jesus whispered a phrase I have never forgotten as I hid in a back nursery room preparing to speak on Isaiah 61:  “The crown of beauty is the governmental authority of My beauty and I only give it for ashes, the places you are willing to be consumed.”

…to provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor….

Our beautiful Jesus wore our thorns so He could crown us with His beauty.  Speechless.

It is His stunning radiant beauty before whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess.  And He longs to bestow this crown of His beauty on us, His beloved.

It is the beauty of the Lord that establishes the work of our hands (Ps 90:17). And He only gives us the governmental authority of His beauty in the places we are willing to be consumed by His love.  Burnt through and laid bare by His gaze, enveloped in the fire of Who He is until all we are is see-through in love.  So that when the world looks at us– they see Him.

What we behold we become.  It is that simple.  What we focus on, we empower.  As we behold His beauty, we become those who carry His beauty into places of brokenness.  Then more will happen in a day than we dream in a decade.  The only thing He requires is that we stay so near His all-consuming flame we never stop burning.

Our world gives platforms, awards and places of influence to those who know how to wield the natural authority a fading beauty brings.  May we be the incandescant ones who walk in the supernatural authority His unfading, ever-increasing beauty releases.

Our world stages, even the broken places of our cosmos, are all crying for the release of true sons and daughters who walk see-through in Love and carry the governmental reality of His Kingdom every place they go.

Royalty needs not announce itself.  When true royalty walks into the room, the room changes because a new realm entered it.  I pray this year will find us all consumed in His love that never ends and crowned with His beauty that never passes away.