On the day Queen Elizabeth is buried, we are awakened at about six in the morning by loud cackling. Unfortunately, I’m not awake enough to take action but turn around once more in bed before getting up. Meanwhile, the damage is done.
An hour later, once downstairs, I walk to the chicken coop in my old clogs and see a trail of white feathers. Something is wrong here! As I open the feeder, the remaining four chickens scurry around me and cluck insistently, watching me with their tiny beady eyes as if trying to say: “Do you know what we experienced last night?!” One of the chickens looks intensely towards the white feathers a meter away. What smart little things you guys are!
There she lies. In our front yard is the nearly dead chicken. She is still moving and breathing heavily. Was she cruelly dragged out of her cage? What gruesome scene took place in our green, sweet garden?
This one is Pippi Longstocking. She survived the horror but was happy to get a good cuddle.
People walk quietly in the street. Parents bring children to school, others go to work. It’s an ordinary day in our street. Everyone is totally unaware of the suffering in our front yard. Jelle has buried the chicken as every chicken deserves a decent burial.
My heart is crying, and I cringe with misery. My family at the breakfast table, getting ready for school or work in a hurry, laugh at it. In a cheerful, Dutch, direct manner, they tell me: “Mom, get over it; it’s just a chicken!
But it isn’t just the chicken. It’s also the news. It’s the people in other parts of the world, who go to the supermarket for a bunch of carrots and die in a bombing because Putin can’t stand that he is losing the war. I cry for the people who are suffering because of war, drought, famine, and injustice while we go about our business.
Today is the end of an era.
The Queen on the shoulders
On the shoulders
Today, a few men carried the Queen of England on their shoulders. Carefully, they walk step by step so as not to get out of balance – step by step in the right direction.
It must have reminded many of loved ones who are buried. It reminded me of this summer, when we buried Jelle’s grandfather. On their shoulders, Jelle and five cousins carried the coffin with their 101-year-old grandfather in it to the grave.
Grandpa had become a little man. He lay there quietly in his coffin, hands folded. The high windows let in plenty of light and air and shone on us all. The descendants of the little man are suddenly intimately connected in a careful step. Grandpa had six children, and of the eight people who sat around his kitchen table when he was a young father, he had to take four to the grave.
Every funeral is a glimpse into a piece of cultural (and familial) heritage. Cousins we hadn’t seen for a long time were there with their families. We sang beautiful psalms, and I experienced a deep peace. There we are with our family. The sun shines. The sky is blue. It is well. God is good. Now it’s up to us, as it already has been for some years.
The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth
If you watched the Queen’s funeral, you did it with approximately 4.1 billion other people. We all could have heard these remarkable, ancient words, which all our ancestors could have heard at certain times as well.
The cross – everything comes back to the cross
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, (all queens, kings, presidents and world leaders and princes and paupers, and all those who are in between) be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.“
Parts of 1 Corinthians 15: 20–26, 53–end
This is the Word of the Lord; thanks be to God.
This is our inheritance. We do not have to tremble, even if the world is shaking at her foundations. May all the people who watched the Queen’s funeral today be encouraged and sense the Father’s beckoning to serve the King of Kings, the Lord.
Tonight, as we are processing this day in our living room, we listened to this piece of music, which I love to share with you: It’s the music that has been played at the funeral of one of the Queen’s ancestors. It is music for the Funeral of Queen Mary (Henry Purcell, 1695).
Here is a link to all the music of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
Here is a link to all the readings of the funeral.
Here’s a prayer for public leaders, by Sheridan Voysey.
What moved you today?
My cousin practices photography, and I am a happy subject 😉
P.S. Kind regards! I know, it’s been a while since I wrote regularly. The garden took up a lot of my time, and I enjoyed my offline life very much. As autumn is coming, I can’t wait to spend more time together, and I am pondering an idea for an online meeting – all in good time, though – so stay tuned!
Love to you, Janneke
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