Saturday, September 10, 2022

A sad day. . .

The death of the Queen was sad for more than those who called her their sovereign.  It is, in many ways, the death of dignity among world leaders and the death of duty among a people more concerned than ever for self-interest.  It is the death of the proverbial stiff upper lip that the crown and commonwealth for generations and it stands now in stark contrast with people who are offended by pronouns.  It is the death of fidelity on the part of one of the most visible faces and families in the world amid a world now living on the whim of the moment (dare I contrast Harry and Meghan with the Queen and Prince Phillip?).  It is the death of longevity in a world in which stardom lasts for a moment and political leaders come and go with the same whimsical timing.  But there is another sadness to her passing.  It is the death of a voice heard across the world which often spoke of Christian faith and virtues with eloquence while too many voices on the world's stage spoke only of the doubts or nothing at all.  That is the voice I will miss the most. 

The Queen was no saint and lived no fairy tale or fantasy life.  She had her annus horribilus and not just one, either.  Thrust into the world's spotlight by the untimely death of her father and crowned at the age of 25, she managed not simply to maintain her dignity amid the antics of political leaders, cultural trends, and family scandals.  She gave the visible witness of attending church regularly.  She spoke of her faith.  Now I have no doubt that her many speeches were carefully scripted and I can only imagine that those with the red pens were always ready too minimize the references to God and her faith but she managed to keep them in and made them markedly profound.  I often paid more attention to her Christmas messages than most letters from church leaders (letters that tended to be more political then religious!).  The Queen seemed to wonder less about God than how people could live their lives without Him.  I suspect that we will not be hearing the same kind of talk from King Charles III or his successors.  That is also an aspect of her death worth mourning.

The English and the Anglicans always do things up right even when their Amen is more symbolic than affirmative of what they believe.  It will be worth the time spent watching a nation and a commonwealth of nations honor their fallen Queen.  But if there was one who paid more attention to the words and not less, it was her and if her subjects and family were paying any attention, this could be her most valuable legacy in a lifetime of achievements and honors.  I suspect, however, that this will pass unnoticed before the commentators and people straining for a glimpse of the caisson and missing one of the most significant aspects of her grand legacy.

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