A while back I watched the latest royal wedding. I thought Meghan’s dress was stunning. I thought the music and gospel choir and Meghan walking up the aisle by herself most of the way was awesome.
But I have to admit that I felt very uncomfortable when Rev Curry spoke.
Not because of what he said. But because of how he said it.
I could see that the Queen and some members of the Royal family were uncomfortable and I felt uncomfortable for them.
I grew up in the Anglican Church. My dad was a priest. I know the service backwards.
My dad was not a traditionalist by any sense of the word but he couldn’t stomach Evangelical preachers and the excited ways they spoke about the “faith”.
So as soon as I heard Rev Curry’s excited and exuberant speech on love and then on fire, I felt stressed. My dad’s voice in my head kicked in. It was matched by the discomfort of the Queen and I just wanted him to stop. I wasn’t listening to his words. I was listening to how he said those words and I let it affect me.
At the time, I was aware that I was feeling very uncomfortable. I knew my feelings were completely irrational. Like as if I care if the Queen is feeling comfortable about an Evangelical preacher from the US using this opportunity to promote the power of love! I don’t even know the Queen (really!)
These feelings can also happen much closer to home. When someone new joins a group or a team and immediately challenges the dominant leader’s suggestions; when someone says something in a group that is the exact opposite of the status quo (don’t you know we’ve always done it this way!) or when I watch people eating snails or frog legs!
We can become very comfortable in our norms. They make us feel safe. They can unite us. Then a stranger enters. They don’t know our norms. They don’t know the rules. If they are brave and confident they will often speak up, say things that are different, make us think, make us revisit whether we had it right in the first place.
Rev Curry’s sermon at the Royal wedding was such a gift. It rocked the boat - big time. People haven’t stopped talking about it. He made us feel uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. He was excited and exuberant and he challenged us to remember that love is so incredibly powerful. It’s okay to be uncomfortable. In fact, it’s good for us.