I awoke to the news that Queen Elizabeth the Second has been placed under medical supervision because the doctors’ are concerned about her health. Family members are gathering at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. This may or may not be the end of her long life on earth, but it provides for an opportunity for reflection.
I did not often think about the Queen. I noticed when there were major events. I am a proud American, but I have deep respect for Her Majesty (I am using British words and capitalizations out of respect). An American, Samuel F. Smith, wrote “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” using the melody that concludes with “God save the Queen” (or King). Instead, verse one concludes with “Let freedom ring!” The last verse is “Great God, our King!”
While I did not think all the time about the Queen, she was like the sun in the sky: always there, discharging her duties with grace and kindness. She had many challenges over the year, starting with becoming Queen at a young age. She gave her first radio speech at the age of 14!
One very indirect connection I had with her was one of the chaplains she had: John Stott (from 1959 until his death; so he began his chaplain duties to her just 7 years after she ascended to the throne). I like to think that he ministered to her in the Name of Christ, sharing the faith, encouraging her to reign in a Christian way–which she has.
I find myself getting uncharacteristically emotional at this news. Perhaps it is because she was close in age to my mother, who died a few years ago. But also, her guiding her beloved country and commonwealth through so many challenges (and prime ministers as well as American presidents!).
God bless the Queen!