There was once a queen, who having much treasure; for there was nothing she had that she did not have, was bored by the mundane goings of her kingdom. Even the jester, with all his jolly foolishness, could not remove this queen from her melancholy state. In the event of going on a summer outing, word was given to the queen that there was a pauper who claimed that he had a treasure that was worth for more than all the splendor of the queen.
Such verbiage quickly brought contention to the heart of the queen; for she did not like anyone having anything she did not have. Immediately it was ordered that the pauper be found and brought to the palace immediately. Soon enough that pauper was brought in, quite roughly, and stood before the queen. Upon looking down on the pauper, the queen delivered her question with as much articulation as it was cold.
“I have heard that you, pauper, have a treasure beyond all of my riches. Who art thou to protest this?”
The pauper, knelt, as was custom, and spoke softly.
“I protest nothing more than what I have. My boasting was not of myself, nor to insult the monarchy. It was only to proclaim the truth.”
“Truth,” the queen said, dismissing the very word, “Tell me of this treasure and how much it will cost me to obtain it from thee.” “Heaven,” replied the pauper, “and it will cost you all.”
A sly smile followed by a snicker came from the queen as she tried to hide it under her hand. However, the pauper’s comment intrigued her and she decided to entertain the thought.
“I shall give you twenty ebony horses, the finest in the land, to obtain your heaven.”
“Although heaven is mine,” replied the pauper, “it is not by right or effort. I – -“
“Silence,” said the queen, cutting the pauper short, “My horses and ten bags of gold should be enough!”
The pauper raised his head that had been lowered and looked the queen directly in the eyes.
“No, it is not enough.”
“My horses, the money, and two acres of my vineyard,” said the queen in haste.
The pauper repeated the same statement as before. Under every offering the queen was met with the pauper’s rejection.
“Remove this fool from my sight,” shouted the queen.
Before the pauper could explain, he was driven from the palace, and all thoughts of him were quickly forgotten as quickly as he was received. During the night, however, the queen could not forget the pauper’s bold stance over the matter of heaven. The very notion of her wealth as being penury drove her mad. If her riches were not enough for Heaven, then what was? She made it her duty to find out in the morning.
The pauper awoke to the incessant noise from his door. Upon opening it he was surprised to see the queen and nearly the entire palace’s servants with chests of gold, bundles of the sweetest grapes, silk, and other delicacies.
“As you can see pauper,” said the queen, “I have brought all my gold and,” she said removing some papers from a bag, “The very deeds to my land. Now, can I have this Heaven.”
The pauper shook his head solemnly.
“Then what?” shouted the queen.
“You are willing to give much, yet not the very thing needed.”
The queen’s eyes spoke the very question she was thinking.
“The heart,” replied the pauper, “Give your heart to the owner of Heaven. It is to Jesus thou must give your all to. No other payment will suffice.”
The pauper closed his door, leaving the queen and her subjects out under the summer morn. I cannot say whether or not that queen took the pauper’s words to act on them. But what about you dear reader, the truth has been presented; will you take those words to action? Remember, nothing will do; no riches or how wise thou art. To get to heaven, Jesus must have your heart.