Mean of Hearts

In Long Melford Church, Suffolk, is a medieval stained-glass depiction of a woman, left, whom we might better know as the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The woman, Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk, enjoys a full face and a rather haughty pair of eyes, one brow slightly raised. She appears to regard her praying colleague with a subtle disdain.

Might we have we totally misjudged, attributing character traits to an artistic impression which, even if accurate, shows not the inner-woman? John Tenniel’s depiction of the Queen is certainly in keeping with Carroll's foul tempered harridan who issues death penalties for the slightest infractions. Would our kneeling, plump duchess do so, given the opportunity? Aristocrats, of both sexes, were certainly a selfish and arrogant bunch of people. But let us not judge books by covers, duchesses by stained glass, nor any people by physical features. We should evaluate each other from God’s perspective, for:

“…the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7