I’ve never met her. I’ve seen her face, well, countless of times (no pun intended) because of her portrait is on our nation’s currency. We sang to her health and of our devotion to her, every school day in my early years of primary school, along with the Canadian national anthem and the reciting of “The Lord’s Prayer”. Yet, although I’ve never met her in person, I feel a great sadness today.
Yesterday the news centres informed the world of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Her presence was and is, a part of our Canadian identity. Whether or not you liked her, or the position she held in our nation’s history, she was an “Influencer” before the term became a noun. According to the dictionary, an “Influencer” is someone who can bring sway and direction to anything from causes, culture, social media or political systems or people. Queen Elizabeth has been a true “Influencer” in all those areas.
I respect and appreciate the Her Majesty the Queen and the leadership she has given through the years. If you have watched biographies of her life, then you know, she was thrust into her position as Queen, upon the death of her beloved Father, King George VI. Yet, in the midst of her grief, she assumed a powerful, often misunderstood role, as the Sovereign of multiple nations, entrenched with all the history (good and bad) that came with her new position, the protocols and demands that such a mantle dictates.
However in that role, she endured, stoically, graciously and with stamina that stands in contrast to so many of us. As a woman and Queen, she appeared to be a rare blend of someone who was beautiful, intelligent, versatile, held strong Christian values and faith, while deftly manoeuvring through a rapidly changing world and social culture. And, all the while she remained poised, informed and interested in the affairs of the world and its people.
Like any family, the Windsors will be grieving. The staff, departments, government, and people of Great Britain, England in particular, will be processing through deep sorrow.
Join me in praying for the new King, Charles III, as he undertakes a similar journey to the throne. He has witnessed the life and death of his mother, his Queen, his “Influencer” and mentor.
And remember all who mourn Queen Elizabeth II and the legacy she has left behind.
Her dedication, faith and steadfast commitment to her position as an “Influencer”, held true throughout several decades, political crises, deep personal loss and radical changes in culture and values.
And it is, sadly, probable that we will not see another like her.
God did save the Queen and today, she is wearing a crown vastly different to her earthly one. In her 2015 Christmas address she said, “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’… Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another.”.
Let’s allow her words to “influence” us again today.