We stand at the gilded rod iron gates just yards away from generations of royalty, watching people come in and out of a slight side door at Buckingham Palace. H and I wonder who they might be, what kind of people would be walking out of the palace. Because don’t we want to be the one carrying an invitation to sit in the presence of the distinguished, the famous, the notable?
And (James and John) said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left, to your glory.” ~Matthew 20:21
I remark to H that the group of trench coats leaving the palace and walking the narrow grass-lined pathway toward the gates, they must have come to the palace to conduct business.
He’s not sure about my assumption.
“The lady in the orange dress looks like a young Katie Couric,” he remarks.
“What a minute, I think that is Katie Couric,” I exclaim as she walks closer.
I run over to get a better look as she enters the common crowds poking faces between bars of majesty. When I see it is her, I say “Hello Katie.” She turns toward me and smiles tilted head. Returns the hello and remarks to her co-worker that the Americans know who she is.
It is obvious there aren’t many of us standing around the palace grounds.
She makes her way to the ‘wedding cake’ monument followed by an entourage holding cameras, computers, combs and hairspray. And I feel like I am standing outside of Rockefeller Center in New York in the 90’s, when she co-anchored the Today Show. Except the crowd standing around her are just H and I, three women from Ohio and a few curious tourists.
She waves smiling at the soldiers, waits for the crew to cue up the script, then walks toward the camera like these conversations with metal are as common as brushing her teeth. When the cameras stop she laughs, says she sounds like a host from Entertainment Tonight, and throws a two fingered peace sign over at the three star-struck women.
I think about the irony of the connection to a piece of home standing in front of Buckingham Palace. How it seems more exciting to bump into the person I met with sleepy eyes on most mornings, for what seems a decade. More wonder in this brush with fame, than a glimpse of that famous balcony of the first public kiss of promise.
How we all dream of connections with the famous, to stand in their shoes one day and Jesus says we don’t understand what we ask for when we desire fame.
“ . . . . but to sit at my right hand or my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those whom it is prepared . . . But whoever will be great among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give life as a ransom for many. ~Matthew 20:23, 27-28
I feel small standing there watching fame’s preparation. My heart bows low because I have asked for much, served little, while He gave all. And He knew I would intersect with Katie Couric at the Queen’s palace that day. So I could see past the mirage and understand the price of fame.
Katie’s interviews with Prince William and Prince Harry will air on ABC for a special called “The Real Queen By Her Own Royal Family” on May 29.
Counting gifts with Ann today for Multitudes on Monday:
- For the way He teaches me how to live through the unexpected.
- For my camera, the 1,000+ photos I took on our trip to England and Scotland.
- Sun kissed skin from a Sabbath on the beach
- Lunch with friends while rain fell buckets outside – five inches while we ate.
- End of year school projects finished.
- For a text on the way to church from a friend to say the scripture from yesterday is written on the family message board.