During our photoshoot for this issue of Wheaton magazine, Tanya Egler taught me to sing.
I had told her that I've never been able to sing on key and that I've found my way in countless worship services by lip-syncing, humming, or whistling through the music. (Now my secret is out.)
Tanya took it upon herself to do for me what she's been doing for Wheaton students for years: persistently and playfully teaching me to sing. I embarrassingly produced a variety of noises trying to follow Tanya's lead, all while our photographer, Professor Schreck, smiled on account of my uneasiness. In reality, getting me to learn to sing would take many, many more individual lessons.
Nevertheless, this, of course, is the kind of thing that happens on Wheaton's campus every day: people meeting in that vulnerable space of learning. I don't take vulnerable to mean weak, but instead, I take it as a willingness to accept limitations and be open to suffering. It is the way that Jesus was vulnerable, and it is by this that we are healed.
When my voice croaked out something off-pitch and Tanya graciously smiled and coached me toward accuracy, we met for a moment in that vulnerable space of learning. This good vulnerability defines good learning.
While reading several pieces in this issue of Wheaton magazine, we listen into spaces in which challenging conversations occur, and I hope that we engage in them with that same kind of good vulnerability. It will require acceptance of our limitations and openness to suffering, and it will require much grace. But by these vulnerabilities, we may be healed.