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A Crown, by Murray Hohns

I found my thoughts ran to the indignity, the cruelty, the ignorance and the arrogance of those soldiers as they put that crown on the Son of God. I thought about my Jesus, gentle and loving, who cared for each and every person he met during his ministry. Even then, there were so many who missed who and what he was. I thought how I had similarly mocked my Lord both before and after I knew him. My heart was deeply stirred, and I found myself unable to keep from weeping and blowing my nose for much of that second day. I do not generally weep in public, but I had never contemplated that crown before. I had read the gospels and seen religious art and actors in religious movies wearing that crown of thorns, but I had never sat in a room all day with a crown of thorns just sitting there three or four feet from me.

The presence of the Lord was so strong to me that day as the mediation wore on. I came home and told my wife about the crown and how it affected me. She was polite but unaffected to any extent that I could see. We traveled the next day to Jacksonville for the Foursquare annual convention, and I took my Bible out on the plane and its pages were absolutely alive with His presence. I slowly wept my way through Philippians and Galatians, and that does not happen very often. My hankie was thoroughly wet with my tears by the time we landed. It was an unusual few days for me.

I find myself still thinking about that crown. I decided that I would like a crown of thorns here in my home where I would see it every day. I wondered where I could get one. I no longer have a garden so I have to go to someone else. I thought about my son who is quite a gardener. However, it has been several years since I heard from him. We were out to dinner where he lives 2,500 miles from here, when he lost his temper and cursed at me as I tried to help him understand his need for the Savior. He has not spoken to me since. My son is what I call a wayward child. Oh, he is approaching 50, has a job, a wife and daughter, mows his lawn, washes his car and pays his bills. But he is not rightly related to his wife, to me, or to his heavenly father. He partly solves that lack of relationship by refusing to talk or write to me, and that makes him a wayward boy. I prayed about where I should go to get a crown of thorns, and then I wrote to my boy. I told him a little about that crown and how it spoke to me so strongly though it had no voice. Then I asked him if he would do me the great favor of making me a crown of thorns so I would have one here to enjoy. I really want that crown but I also wondered if it would speak to my boy as hopefully he put his anger toward his father in abeyance for the time it would take to fashion a crown from the thorny canes in his garden. I have not heard from him since I mailed the letter so I cannot end my story except to ask you if you have ever spent a day looking and thinking about that crown of thorns that they put on the Savior’s head so many years ago. I encourage you to do that. Perhaps you too will find that contemplation as profound and alive as I, and then decide that you, too, need to adorn your home or work place with your own crown of thorns.



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Category: Fall 2001, Living the Faith, Pneuma Review

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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