Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Influencing with a quiet grace

I have been enjoying watching clips from Queen Elizabeth's life and one thing I noticed quite often is how she was always determined but in a calm and gentle way.  It reminded me of the verse in I Peter 3:4 which states, "... rather (one's clothing inferred) it should be that of your inner self, the unfolding beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight". 

She was not perfect, of course.  For instance, I think perhaps the situation with Diana could have been handled differently.  I do not condone Diana's stooping to the same infidelity that brought such pain to her but I can understand why she did it.  Entire books have been written on that subject.  It does appear that as the years went by, the Queen herself realized she should have handled it with more compassion for her daughter-in-law.

However, most of Queen Elizabeth's legacy will be as one who brought Britain through many crisis with a calm and gentle spirit... at least on the outside.  She realized it was important to the people of Britain that their monarch remained calm, much like as parents we know it is wise to appear calm in the midst of a storm warning when we actually want to  hide under the bed.

Even secular media have been talking about the Queen's faith and how they believed that was important in her life.  She was of a generation when a deep faith was still considered something to desire, even if one lived as part of the royal family.

While there was much I admired about this queen, she was not my favorite Royal.  I was an ardent fan of the Queen Mum.  I adored her in many ways but one doesn't have to look far to see where Elizabeth received her strength from.  Her mother was widowed at an age that I am certain she never expected and would live the remainder of her life being a strength to her daughters.

I knew the Queen Mum had quite a sense of humor and when I found out we shared a love for my favorite BBC comedy, The Last of the Summer Wine, I liked her even more. She was such a fan that there is an episode available on one of the season's DVDs where she came to the set and the cast was presented to her after the taping.

I see a lot of her in her daughter.  Of course, her father was very honorable but I don't think he ever truly wanted to be king.  Perhaps that is why both of Elizabeth's parents raised her in such a way that she would be ready to take on her role as queen when it happened, unfortunately at the early age of twenty-five.

I haven't watched a lot of the programming this week, although I may set my alarm clock early to watch the funeral. Great Britain may be mostly secular now but they have such beautiful funerals and weddings, full of Godly music and readings.  

From what I have watched, though, one Truth that came through all the talking was how she influenced her country and the world with her quiet and gentle spirit.  There is a reason most people loved her.  As one young person said when interviewed, "She was everyone's granny.  She made us feel safe.".

The older I get, the more I see the value of a gentle and quiet spirit.  I have no influence over a nation... other than my responsibility to vote... but I do have some influence with my family and my close friends.  Even then, I rarely ever raised my voice to my family.  Well, except my husband but with the bipolar symptoms, sometimes one had to do what was necessary to break through to him.

I have a card that was painted by Joni Erickson Tada when she was very young taped to the inside of my Bible.  It has been on the inside cover of every Bible I used since my early 20's, except the most recent large print Bible.  Which, I only go to once in awhile.  Mostly I read on a Bible app to increase the font.

On that card is the above verse of I Peter 3:4.  I was quite opinionated as a young person and somewhat of a female Don Quixote.  Which is probably the way I had to be when working in a corporation and in political situations for conservative Christian causes.  

Eventually there came a time when I decided it was time to step aside and let others battle windmills.  My calling had changed but I guess I still was a bit of a nonconformist to the culture as a homeschooling mom when it was still quite out of the norm.

One can go against the tides of the culture and retain a quiet and gentle spirit.  If that goes along with one's calling at the time as I am certain it did mine.  I look at my children and my grandchildren now and how they have picked up the baton in the marathon of life.  

I see Romans 8:28 at work every day in our family.  How God has woven together the various strands of our life... the good and the bad. The good seeds planted all those years are flourishing.  He is taking the mistakes I made that I would just as soon not remember... and is making them something quite lovely.  

If your story isn't looking lovely, yet... keep praying and give it time and speak with kindness and a gentle spirit.  God is not through writing your story.  He is not finished writing mine, either.  He has us here for a reason.


Laura said...

Thank you very much for today's post. I look forward to each Sunday's wise words from you. Today's was a special blessing to me.

Ann Stevens said...

Oh I am so glad God is not finished writing my story or my son's story yet ... there is more to do and I am trusting that He is busily at work behind the scenes. I have see some good changes and am looking forward to seeing more of what I dream.

I, too, found Queen Elizabeth to have a calming and peaceful persona even if she was under duress which I am sure she was many times. As you say, not perfect but in light of what we see around us today she was a real blessing to her family and to her country.

Vee said...

Just received an odd message trying to arrive here via My Friends and Favorites blog. It said that I couldn't because it was an RSS feed. Hmmm...not sure what that means. I had to go over to my "old-fashioned" list and find you that way. Anyway, it explains why I haven't been seeing your blog. I'll have to shoot blogger a query.

It has been a challenge not to be watching news from the UK all week, but I managed well until today. I have been amazed by the hymns, prayers, and messages. The entire Gospel has been proclaimed so clearly. It has blessed me.