I think we’re alone now

There are many who have been emotionally moved seeing the Queen sitting alone and masked in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. I choose not to use that photo but a different one, partly for copyright reasons but mainly to demonstrate that Her Majesty has also sat alone on other more joyous occasions.

Despite all the privileges, wealth, duties and burdens she is a human being with identity, value, needs and feelings and one who also speaks of her faith in Jesus Christ. We weep with her at her time of bereavement and loss and would have sat with her if we could.

One of the sad aspects of life today is how quick people are to pass judgment or to say that they know what she is like and thinking and feeling. Perhaps they think that they own her in someway or even that she represents them. She has a tough gig, doesn’t she?

Even as a local church leader for over thirty years I have at times felt the burden of hyper-scrutiny, assumptions about me and judgmentalism. When it runs unchecked without being countered by grace, accountability and empathy it usually ends up becoming toxic. Thankfully it is not the norm but it does happen too much sadly I believe.

Perhaps you can identify with this in your own life and I hope you will find that you are not alone but a precious child of God. I don’t know why but I am finding myself thinking about the parable of the prodigal. To some extent each of the well-known characters could be seen to be lost, alone and isolated not just the one who ends up desperate eating food meant for pigs. There is the hope and promise of being found, of being connected, of being valued, welcomed, loved and rooted which is played out spectacularly in the parable of Jesus.

I recently listened to a radio programme about the psychologist Marshall Rosenberg who championed non-violent communication. There was mention of the concept of the dangers ‘of Jackal’ ears which blame and judge the outer other, and ‘Giraffe’ ears which see the inner needs of ourselves and others. We could certainly do with fewer jackals I believe. It comes to something when even professional footballers are boycotting their own social media accounts.

This need for kindness is especially true as we find ourselves coming out of this recent time of social restriction, disorientation and disconnection. A good starting place is to acknowledge that we should be slower to make assumptions about other people whether famous or not. My prayer is that I would increasingly see people has God sees them and that they will increasingly pay me the same courtesy. But if they don’t that’s OK too because at the end of the day my life is hidden in Christ (Colossians 3.3)

How did I get here from a royal funeral – a bit of  a ramble sorry! Rest in peace Prince Philip and may our Queen and her family know peace, love and understanding at this time.

Photo by Mark de Jong on Unsplash

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