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  • joeyredhead

Knowing Who I am

Thursday the 8th of September 2022 was a strange day. As news of the Queens death spread across the country a strange almost palpable feeling spread along with it. A shared loss and grief that was felt by so many, for someone who few could claim to really know and yet meant so much to so many. The Queen was a remarkable woman. Although born to status and a life so lofty most could not even imagine it, she seemed able to make herself relatable to almost anyone regardless of status, wealth, or age. As the days passed stories flooded in of a kind, compassionate, loving soul who cared for everyone whoever they were.

This seems incredible to me, that someone with such power and of such importance, would not exclusively seek the company of those considered the finest and best people the world has to offer, but would actively desire to touch the lives of all, regardless of how poor, broken, or unimportant they might seem. In a world where the rich and powerful are fickle and judgmental, fighting tooth and nail to maintain superiority and status, the Queen was quite different, she encouraged, cared for, and loved all. Where others might see flaws to attack, she saw wounds to heal.

I pondered on this for a while, why was the Queen different? I think there are probably many reasons for this, but one thing struck me hard. The Queen was unique (at least in the UK), in that Elizabeth was the Queen, because that was who she was, and she always would be until either she abdicated, or she resigned. Nothing else could stop her. Whilst there are many who are rich and powerful, others cannot be certain that their money or their status will remain. If holding on to it is important, then they will feel compelled to fight for it. Not so with the Queen. Her position was secure, she needed not worry about it. It didn’t matter who thought what about her. She didn’t need to worry about if her actions would seem weak or undignified. And so she was left free to focus on others, which in turn clothed her in grace and made so many love her.

It’s hard not to see shades of Jesus in the Queens life. He lived His life in love and compassion. He cared about everyone regardless of how the world saw them. Crowds of people travelled to see Him and adored Him. And like the Queen He knew that His identity was certain and unshakeable. Writing about Jesus, Paul wrote, “Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”. He goes on to talk about how Jesus’ path and His love for the world pushed Him beyond the Queens life of royal servitude. He gave up His own Godly nature to be like those He cared for and in the end His pursuit of the world He loved would lead those that had adored Him to turn their backs on Him and even kill Him. He alone was able to love like this because of who He was, and because no-one could take His identity from Him.

Our world is full of people whose identity is in their wealth and status, and therefore must continue to fight to stay on top. But when status and wealth is comparative to others, the only way to do better is to push others down. Our world is desperate for people who will love, cherish and care for those around them regardless of who they are or how unimportant they might seem to the world. I want to be one of those people. Yet, I so often find myself thrown into the midst of proving my worth and looking good. The only way to leave the fight is to keep remining myself that I am a child of God, there can be nothing of higher value than that, and there is nothing that can take that away. And when I remind myself of the certainty that I have been made the brother of Jesus, then I can start learning to love like Him too.

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