I’ve been watching the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and thinking back to a sunny day about 10 years ago.
At the time I was working for an aid agency and while on a trip to Zambia had met this amazing lady called Margaret. Margaret had been through the unimaginable – her husband had left her with four children to raise, she later had her property taken away in a ‘land grab’, and was gang raped; an event which left her with HIV and no money to pay for treatment.
But despite it all, she was like this advert for faith, she just radiated God’s love for everyone. Her view on life was that yes, she’d been through a great deal, but she was still alive, so what was there to complain about?
Fast forward a few years later and Margaret was invited over to the UK to tell her story as part of a UK speaking tour. Margaret and I were buddies by this point, so I volunteered to host her. I planned some sight-seeing and quickly learned that one of Margaret’s dreams was to ‘see the queen’. I organised a day trip to London but casually mentioned that seeing the queen was pretty much an impossibility.
Margaret wasn’t deterred though and on the train to London she kept saying she was ‘going to see the queen’. I felt a bit anxious about it all. I really wanted her to have a great time but I knew there was zero chance of meeting a member of the royal family.
We arrived in London and made our way through Green Park, toward the golden gates of the palace. We arrived at the gates, watched the palace guards and all the while, I got the impression that Margaret was still hoping for just a glimpse of HRH. I wanted to remind her/let her down gently and said words to the effect of, ‘I’m afraid it’s just not going to happen…’
At which point, Margaret looked up to the sky and in a louder, prayerful voice said, ‘LORD, I WANT to see the queen…I’ve come to London. Please let me see her’.
I grimaced and thought about how I was going to explain this. And then my attention was caught by some blue lights flashing in the courtyard. Two police motorcyclists were circling…was something going on? Literally 5 minutes later, the gates to our right swung open, the police bikers roared out, followed by the Queen and Prince Philip. We were stood on the pavement and could not have been closer.
I stood there with my mouth on the floor.
‘See?’ Said Margaret, ‘I KNEW God wouldn’t let me down’.’
And she was right, He didn’t. God knew all the horrific suffering and tragedy Margaret had gone through…He knew that little things like meeting the Queen were important to her.
I never thought it was possible.
Margaret always knew it was.
God didn’t let her down.