I’m kind of notorious for putting my foot in my mouth. As a small example, I say things like, “I got roped into this,” when what I really mean to say is something like, “I’m not sure how I arrived here, but I am thankful.” Now, combine that with some of my efforts, (and authentic desire), to connect with and relate to minority, marginalized, and oppressed individuals and groups; and oh, my ignorance is undeniable.
In high school I had this fantastic US History teacher, Mrs. Lewis. She was African American woman who identified strongly and proudly with her African roots as well as her American heritage. She was passionate, genius, and gracious in teaching us about slavery, civil rights, and detailed African American history. Her father marched with Martin Luther King. I so desperately wanted to be teacher’s pet and was constantly looking for connection points with her. One weekend I met an African American pastor from our area; I was sure this was Mrs. Lewis’ pastor – perfect! You see where this is going…: “Mrs. Lewis, I think I met your pastor this weekend,” I said eagerly….it was a downward spiral from there; foot in mouth. Thankfully, I wasn’t the first eager, white kid Mrs. Lewis had come across and her grace flowed like a river.
This weekend I am attending the Gay Christian Network’s annual conference, http://www.gaychristian.net/conference/. I’m straight, I’m an evangelical Christian, and I’m newly reengaging my own thoughts about the number of issues that surround my fellow conference goers. Perfect recipe for Lizzy to put her foot in her mouth. So, for today I was mostly in listening mode at the conference. But I will say at least this through my blog, (to my handful of faithful followers), "I'm not sure how I arrived here, but I am thankful," and grace flows like a river. Philip Yancey spoke this morning at the conference and fleshed out this idea: grace is like a river, it always flows downhill. For that, I am really thankful.