I sat down one day a wrote this story. I realized it was actually the story of my life and my relationship with Christ. It is my story of how I journeyed from struggling to earn Christ’s love to realizing that I already had it. When I first wrote this story, I didn’t like the sour-faced officials. However, I soon realized that many sour-faced officials long for deeper relationship with the king, but don’t understand how to gain it–so they are to be pitied, not hated. I also realized that most (or all) of us start out as self-righteous officials, and at times we still are.
Once upon a time a little waif eagerly skipped to the palace to spend some time with the King. He had invited her to come, you see, because although she didn’t always remember it, she was His precious daughter and He loved her beyond imagining. As she entered His palace, she was met by some well-meaning but sour-faced officials, who looked at her in horror. “You can’t go to the King looking like THAT,” they sputtered. She looked down at her very best dress, which she had put on just for the King, and suddenly saw all the rips and stains and wrinkles that she hadn’t seen before. A couple of the officials, who understood the King a wee bit more than the others but not as much as they thought they did, said, “Don’t worry, dearie, the King probably won’t even notice that big huge ugly stain here or the really long horrible rip there, especially if you keep your hand over the stain and then twist your skirt a little.” The statement drew the waif’s attention to the big huge ugly stain and the really horrible long rip and she felt embarrassed and tried to hide them. Perplexed, she said, “But I thought the invitation said ‘come as you are.'” The well-meaning but sour-faced officials explained condescendingly, “Well, yes, that will get you through the doors, but you have to work very hard to clean yourself up before you actually get to see the King.”