…people say, “I care about my neighbors,” but don’t have an awareness to do something every single time they step out of their doors…they [should be] looking for ways in which they can affirm their neighbors and protect them if necessary. That takes an entire culture mindset shift. Was there ever a time when we see in scripture that Jesus wasted an opportunity to protect someone who is being abandoned or abused? No! We see him actively stepping into situations, we see him actively invading spaces where people are being marginalized. – Tyler Burns
Duff and I are working our way through The Crown, the Netflix biopic on Queen Elizabeth II. I know some of you are total Anglophiles, watching it knowing exactly what will happen next, thinking fondly, perhaps, of that morning lo, these many years ago, when you woke up early to watch the Royal Wedding (while I slept).
I, on the other hand, somehow missed British History entirely (perhaps it was moving twice in high school?) and I have basically no context for what’s going on.
This might be a good time to mention that when the movie The Alamo came out, I didn’t know “we” lost, so maybe I ignored the history classes I DID take as well. I regret this.
Anyway, there’s a point in about the 5th episode where Queen Elizabeth thinks back on her education. She remembers asking her childhood tutor what he teaches the other pupils between questions related to titles, protocols, and Parliment. He explains that he doesn’t teach other pupils the same things, and when she asks if she should be taught those subjects as well, he explains that they’re beneath her.
As an adult, Queen Elizabeth finds herself in meetings with heads of state, experts in philosophy, science, literature, and feels woefully unprepared. She expresses frustration at having to direct the conversation “back to dogs and horses” every time. She recognizes her limitations and it motivates her to seek out a tutor so that she can work on catching up.
I can relate.
Because I’m secretly a Sovereign.
No I’m not. I can relate because I’m finding myself in conversations about privilege and racial reconciliation and things like “the talk,” and I feel like I’m playing a big game of catch up. I’m looking for my own tutors, in a way; reading a ton, watching, listening. I’m also finding patience and grace in the reality that my little ounce of knowledge gained doesn’t give me permission (or even allow me) to get loud and mouthy. Yes, we should speak up when we see injustice and a lack of mercy and grace. But there are times when it’s appropriate to be more of a conduit and less of a voice of your own. To let the experts be the experts as we learn. That’s where I am.
That feeling of having a place at the grown-up table when you feel like maybe the kids’ table is a better fit – that’s where I’m at. And in a weird way, that’s part of WHY I wanted to be on the interview for UpsideDown Podcast where we interviewed our recent guest, Tyler Burns. Tyler is a co-host of Pass the Mic, the podcast of the Reformed African American Network.
The episode went up Tuesday and I’d encourage you to check it out. I’ll tell you now – from the beginning, what I THOUGHT we were going to talk about and what we ACTUALLY talked about were two different things. It was even more sobering than I anticipated, but hopeful, too. (And what is that combination but a reflection of the Gospel itself?)
If you’re a white parent who grew up in primarily white contexts, you’ll probably relate to some of what I’m saying here, and on the podcast. If you feel overwhelmed at what you don’t know, guess I want you to hear my “me too.” And I want you to join me in not settling for that anymore.
You can start here.