The Queen watching the Trooping the Colour ceremony in June (Image: Jonathan Brady/PA, York Press)
The Queen watching the Trooping the Colour ceremony in June (Image: Jonathan Brady/PA, York Press)

At this time of loss, my love and prayers extend to you all.

It is right that we all pause and reflect on the qualities of our late Queen who has steered our nation through the seasons of life and anchored us to become who we are today.

Born to the Duke and Duchess of York, Princess Elizabeth was not destined for such great office, and yet by divine fate was called at such a tender age to be the guiding light to leaders and nations.

As she committed herself to us, and never wavered from her duty and dedication, she was truly anointed with gifts of wisdom and fortitude to her very last.

As the nation watched her hand power to her 15th Prime Minister, Liz Truss, last week, just a matter of hours before her sudden demise, we were unconsciously reassured that, although frail, she was, as she had always been, there, doing what she had always done, for the duration of our lives.

But she was much more than a stable point of continuity in our lives..

She was much more than a dedicated mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She was a mother to our nation, to the commonwealth and across the world.

One who nurtured and encouraged, served and guided.

She gave counsel and she gave assurance. She never judged and never showed favour.

Whether to a well-wisher, charity worker or benefactor, global leader or nations, she had a word in season for us all, and left her mark wherever she went.

Through the turbulence of life, she has been the constant.

Through the volatility of our political expressions, she has risen above the storms and been the beacon by which we have all set our compass and steered our path.

As a woman she has inspired while showing us her humility and humanity.

A comforter in the midst of the most tragic of circumstances, she has brought her light into the darkest of places from the Second World War to Aberfan and, more recently, 9/11 and Grenfell.

When the nation divided and life seemed to fall apart, it was her timely words and spirit of hope that brought us back together; a bridge builder and peace maker.

In the confusion of Covid, as we were locked away, she gave us hope that we would meet again.

Of course, we can wrestle with the privilege, and question the hereditary favour placed on one family, and it is right to do so in a world of inequality and destitution.

But we cannot doubt that in return of this historical rite, hers been a gift of sacrifice to us all, one none of us could carry.

But the burden has not always been heavy, there has been joy throughout.

The stories which have flooded in over the last few days are a testimony to her sense of fun.

None of us could not have been filled with delight by her recent audience with Paddington Bear, who too exemplifies the qualities we long to emulate.

However, rooting her unique gifts has been her deep and personal faith in Jesus Christ, knowing too that she was dependent on His service and sacrifice; each year around our Christmas dinner tables, urging us to dedicate ourselves to Him.

For while her years have been many and blessed, one day it was destined that they would come to an end, as is the same for each one of us.

At that point, we will leave behind those we have nurtured and loved, all we have and all we have done.

Our work will be finished, and our eternity will be before us.

Through living such a long life of service and in increasing expectation that this moment would come, the Queen was able to place all into perspective and graciously reign with wisdom, kindness and faithfulness.

She has run her race well and has now passed her baton on, so she can stand before the King she served, and be welcomed into eternal peace.

This article appeared in the York Press on 14th September 2022

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