On July 4, 2009 in New York Harbor, after an eight-year hiatus, hundreds of people climbed the stairs to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Public access to the crown had been prohibited for nearly a decade after the September 11, 2001 attacks because emergency evacuation down its narrow, double-helix staircases did not meet safety codes. Additionally, certain areas of the 354-step climb to the crown are so ominous that some visitors have been overcome by claustrophobia, panic attacks, and heat exhaustion. And for those having such difficulty, the winding and constricted stairs allow no option to turn back.
The English Poet, Francis Quarles wrote, “He that hath no cross deserves no crown”. The challenging ascent into the statue’s crown is an illuminating example of man’s mounting journey through life; the higher the calling, the more arduous the climb.
Some years ago I experienced a personal struggle with anxiety and depression. Unable to change my circumstances, I became impeded and could barely function day to day. I was emotionally stuck en-route . . . yet, I knew that I must advance.
Fortunately, the climb is not to the swift, strong, or privileged, and it is not about skill or technique. So I dragged myself through each second, minute, hour, and day. My ascent was slow and clumsy, but by wholly believing God’s Word, and by earnestly applying His principles, I was able to make my upward step-by-step journey a triumphant one.
Lady Liberty continues to welcome the tired, poor and homeless, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Both structurally and symbolically, she represents a hopeful call to all people to come up higher. Regardless of your cross, attain the crown!
James 1:12 NIV Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
2 Timothy 4:8 NIV Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 7/4/2009 10:42 PM