A little girl was making a birthday present for her father: a crown. Beautiful with jewels, precious gems all glittery and colourful. She was so excited to give them to him in a crown of her very own design.
She skipped down the hall to where everyone was gathering when she bumped inter her brother. She showed him her creation so proudly. To her delight he said it was beautiful and then gave her his own special treasure! A large diamond that caught the sun in its heart.
Excitedly, she ran back into her room and redesigned the crown. It didn’t quite all fit in the way she expected with the diamond in the centre but finally it was rearranged to her liking. She admired again all the bright colours and was satisfied that she had somthing of great value to give to her father.
She imagined the joy it would bring him, how proud he would be to wear it, and the admiring looks everyone would give. It would mean so much to him and to everyone who saw it, for all her best treasures were on it.
Giddy with anticipation, she ran back down the hallway but she couldn’t resist proudly showing it to her mother.
“Very nice dear. Those bits of glass are pretty, but a little dangerous. Where did you get your brother’s diamond? That isn’t yours. Go and give it back.”
Glass? Her treasures, everything of value that she owned were only broken bits of glass!
The little girl was heartbroken. She had nothing to give after all. She ran and hid, ashamed.
She listened miserably to the party on the other side of the house. Then footsteps quietly entered her hiding place and her father stooped and crawled under the bed with her.
Bursting into tears she mourned, “Papa, I made a beautiful crown- full of jewels! You would have been so proud! Everyone would have noticed. But they weren’t jewels, only glass. I don’t have anything valuable to give you like everyone else. I’m sorry.”
Her father smiled. “Thats not true, beloved. Remember that stone I gave you when you were born? You could give that to me.”
The girl turned crimson in shame. “I thought you didn’t know about that. Its not valuable. Its an ugly, dirty stone and everyone makes fun of it. I try to keep it hidden.”
“Will you give it to me?”
“But, then everyone will know!” She was frightened. “They’ll see it and know that I don’t have anything good to give you! They’ll see that I am no good!”
“Give it to me?” His voice was warm but firm.
She pulled it out and held it up. Trembling. Now she could no longer hide.
“Precious girl, you are my crown!” Her father laughed, pulled her out from her hiding spot and swung her up to his shoulders.
They joined the party and light from the stained glass light catcher danced over their faces.
I wrote this a few years ago. In the story I am the girl. I had arranged my talents into what I thought would impress God and others. Then I married and had to rearrange my life plans. People in the church graciously pointed out my gifts and talents were only glass.
The stone is my femininity- despised by so many, including myself. A source of shame. I tried to hide it and protect it from others. I believed that I had to give it to God, along with my near worthless glass and that He would make something lovely with it.
Now I see that the church is not my mother. God is not my father. No wonder I despised being female when God and perfect were male and the imperfect corrupt chastising body were female.
Then the girl opened her eyes and saw that she had been lied to her whole life. The woman she called mother was not her mother but an old man trying to control her, convinced that he was loving her by crippling her so that she would not run and possibly fall down and scrape her knees.
Her father was not there. She had spent her whole life trying to please her ‘father’ only to find that she didn’t know anything about him or her at all.
But, there was her brother beside her. He truly was a diamond. Then she looked at the stone still in her hand. It was also a diamond of a different shape and hue than his- but a diamond just the same.
The glass bits glued on the paper crown were not glass either, but seeds.
Together, the boy and girl went outside the shadowed house. They sunk their hands into the rich dirt and reverently planted the seeds. They didn’t know which plants would grow from them, but they were excited to spend their lives together playing in the mysteries, mud and joy of life.