Behold, a mother lay down at the close of a busy day. Her sons and daughters and her husband, verily had been given sustenance and were asleep on their beds. As the weary mother slept, behold she dreamed a dream and in this dream, lo, she stood just inside the Eastern gate of the Heavenly Jerusalem. As she looked about for a familiar face, lo, an angel – the Dispenser of Crowns – came forth. In his and was a book and the book was opened to the page whereon was written the record of the mother before him.
Now the angel who dispenses crowns had much questions with the mother answered with meekness and fear. And verily, the last question which the giver of crowns asked was this: “How many sinners hast thou converted from the error of their ways?”
Lo, the mother’s countenance fell and she was put to shame. Without so much as lifting her eyes to look upon the angel, in a still small voice, she answered, “None, that I know of.”
Sternly the Dispensing Angel rebuked the mother. “And what, may I ask wert thou doing all the years of thy sojourn upon the planet earth? How spendest thy time?”
In meekness and fear and in much trembling, the mother replied, “I was so busy – changing diapers and mollifying wounds and pouring in oil and wine and baking cookies and washing little stranger’s feet…. I…. I’m afraid I forgot to convert people.”
“No souls?” The Dispenser of Crows was aghast. “Is there not one soul you can credit to your account? Did you never enter into your closet and there pray for the souls of the heathen about you?”
With no excellency of speech, the mother hung her head. “There was so little time. My neighbors came so often for comfort and for advice, and my husband needed me much, that I confess I had to learn to pray wherever I was. I’m sorry, sir, but I seldom prayed in the closet – it was so cluttered and full of projects I never seemed to get done. Most of my praying was done at my
kitchen sink, or when I was driving home from parent-teacher conferences. Surely, I am an unprofitable servant.”
The Dispensing Angel was perturbed and the mother wished again for a familiar face. Just as the Angel was about to question her further, the mother felt a hand upon her shoulder. Glancing, she saw it was nail-pierced hand. Then she heard a voice, “I have a special crown for this woman – it is a mother’s crown.” Turning to the Angel, He said, “Ask no more questions – she hath done what she could.”
As the mother beheld, lo the nail-scarred hands held forth a crown – her own special crown. It was gorgeous as it sparkled in the light of the Heavenly City. And lo the crown was bedecked with jeweled safety pins.
As the Savior placed the crown on the head of the surprised mother, she heard a voice say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over your little things. Enter into the joy of the Lord.” Very early on the morrow, while it was yet dark, behold the mother stirred in her sleep. As she reached to steady her golden crown, behold she felt only the curlers in her hair. And lo, she knew she had dreamed a dream.
But that day as she gave meat to her household and stretched forth her hands to the needy, the dream she had dreamed came to mind. And in the secret place before her kitchen sink, with her little ones under foot, the mother said in a still small voice, “Lord, I now perceive that the crowns are not for the mighty nor for the strong, but for the faithful.”
And behold, the Heavenly Father, who hears in secret, rewarded her openly.
Written by Betty Jo Mathis, mother of seven, one of whom is almost as above average and good looking
as the other six, copyright 1975