My biggest takeaways from the If Gathering, didn’t come from one of the talks (although I’m still unpacking them all! So good!) but from a prayer that Jennie Allen made after the Racial Unity Table chat (watch it here!). It was really good to hear from women of color their thoughts, struggles and what they needed most from their white sisters. Then Jennie prayed over them and for them and prayed for white women (I’m paraphrasing here) asking for forgiveness for not realizing we were born on third base. I had never heard this analogy before but having just heard from the hearts of these ladies, I was suddenly overwhelmed by my privilege. (Check out this post if you’ve doubted that privilege). I would never deny I was blessed the way I grew up but something inside of me realized that the privilege I was born with was not just for me. So this is what I have been thinking about and I’ll challenge you to think about too:
What are we going to do with the privilege our race has given us?
Do we really think God intend us to just have a cushier life inside our bubble? Or are we willing to get uncomfortable and have conversations so that we can be a part of racial reconciliation in our land? This is important. But the truth is, I don’t know what to do exactly. If you are in the same spot, check out Be the Bridge community.
I hope I never lose the conviction I am feeling right now. This idea that I have been entrusted with something to give to others keeps coming up.
ON A MICRO LEVEL
This morning, I read 1 Timothy 1:12-14.
“…I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
As someone who has heard the Gospel, I have been entrusted to share it with others. And this verse even tells me that what God has entrusted to me, He will help me do.
What are we going to do with the privilege our access to the Gospel has given us?
Who do you need to share Jesus with in your streets and neighborhoods and small community? There our people who need the benefit that we might have had, a friend who brought us to youth group, a mentor at our office who shared faith, a neighbor down the street. Give it away friends!
ON A MACRO LEVEL
And really, these two privileges are on top of another privilege just being born in the United States. I know some don’t agree with me and I know there are still some in our country who experience extreme poverty, but for most of us in the US, our lives are vastly easier not because of anything we did but because of where we were born. This is not to bash any of us or make us feel bad for our privilege. Not at all! But we are to take responsibility for our response to it.
What are we going to do with the privilege of being born in the US and having access to resources?
A few nights ago I was cooking dinner and cleaning out the fridge and threw away nearly half a trashcan full of spoiled food. Half a trashcan, y’all. That’s embarrassing. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard any comment like “Eat your food. There are kids starving in Africa!” I remember thinking, how is me eating my food going to help them? But as I teared up over the stinky broccoli we never ate, I thought of what we could have done with those resources. And how the simple act of being a good steward of our food showed our gratitude for what we were blessed with.
We know this. But I am just starting to understand deeper how much I did nothing to earn all of this. I get all kinds of convicted when I see God give me more, because I have believed it’s all for me to keep. More money made means more money for me to spend. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe God is generous and lavish in His love. He’s not necessarily calling us to sell everything we own (though he might!) and live on a dirt floor so that you can give everything away. But we have to evaluate our heart. Am I willing to use my privilege for someone else? Or am I so wrapped up in my own comforts and life that I don’t use what God gave me to help others? Do I even realize I have been born with a privilege others may not have?
Leave a comment: Were you born on third base too? Is it just hitting you like it’s hitting me?
Thanks for sharing this phrase… it puts simple words around a big concept of privilege, one that is really easy to be numb or blind to and one we can do so much with. It’s not about not getting a home run, it’s about using the ease of us getting a home run to serve those who by no fault of their own have had a longer and more difficult journey to travel. This phrase works as well for me as a white middle class Australian as it does for those in the US and it demands as much of me when I look at how I can contribute to serving and encouraging the community of indigenous Australians, refugees and asylum seekers and others who have had a harder road than I.
I love that Ellen! It’s not about not getting a home run.