I guess I’m feeling a little vulnerable on this blog today…since I admitted by Mexican food addiction…I feel like I need to confess another of my vices that I became aware of last night: cowardice.
Yesterday I got an email from Betsy saying that there was a group of women from church that were going to meet up at the movie theater and see The Great Debaters together. (Which by the way, was excellent.)
I haven’t had the words to blog about the last book I finished, The Irresistible Revolution, but I hope to be able to communicate soon all the changes that are happening in my philosophy of ministry since picking this little book up.
It’s no secret that John and I moved into the neighborhood that we live in strategically. We live on the same land that the first housing projects in the United States were on and what used to be the poorest zip code in the country. Now before you go thinking that we moved here to change the world or to offer our bread crumbs to our neighbors, let me correct you. We moved here more than anything to be blessed by people that are different than us, not necessarily to be the blessing. (Although we pray that we are able to bless as well.)
Since moving here, we have become good friends with a family that lives in the older part of the neighborhood. John has taken a very committed interest in the youngest son. He comes to church with us often and spends time with our family. We have learned so much already from this relationship.
So yesterday when Betsy sent that email I thought it might be a great opportunity to take a couple of the girls in that family to see it. That’s where my bravery ends. I ask John to call the mom since he already talks to her more frequently than I do. He tells me the mom says it’s ok but I would have to go by the house to ask them since she wasn’t at home.
6:30 rolls around and it’s time to leave. I head to the girls house and knock. When the mom comes to the door, she tells me they aren’t home, they are at the community center. “Ok,” I said, “tell them I stopped by.” I got back in the car and thought, “I’m off the hook.” Sad, but true.
And here’s the reason: I am a coward.
I am afraid of the community center. Now don’t get me wrong, I have spent time volunteering at places just like this. But the difference is that there were other white people in the building. When I go to OUR community center, I am the ONLY white person in the entire building full of people. I am the minority. And I don’t like it.
So I make excuses, “It’s not safe to go alone being a woman.” What? I go tons of places by myself as a woman. It’s a COMMUNITY CENTER, not prison. “I already went to their house and now I might be late to the movie.” What? The community center is literally three blocks from their house.
I could hear the echo of a quote from Irresistible Revolution in my head as I got back in my car:
What is, therefore, our task today? Shall I answer: “Faith, hope, and love?” That sounds beautiful. But I would say – courage. No, even that is not challenging enough to be the whole truth. Our task today is recklessness. -Kaj Munk
How silly is it that I had to ask God for courage to enter that community center and find those girls? But I did. And I went. The girls came with me to the movie and we had a great conversation during the drive there and back. But the real blessing was mine. Because God showed up in my little body and allowed me to be a little reckless. My prayer is that day by day, decision by decision, step by step, this chicken is reborn.