Confessions of a Chicken

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.

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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Chicken

  1. Ashleigh- I have never met you. But I honestly feel that we would be fast friends. I went to Union with John, so he and I are friends from way back when. I just read your post about being a coward. I feel exactly the same way. I too just finished reading Irresistible Revolution and it has totally changed the way I look at the world around me. I would love for us to meet one another one day soon so we can both share our ideas of making our worlds (I only live 80 miles away from you in Jackson, TN). I frequently read your blog, that I found via John’s blog, and sometimes feel that the words on the page are my own. I am a stay at home mom with an almost 9 month old daughter and I have a lot of the same struggles, feelings, and opinions that you do. I am very serious about us meeting, and I assure you that I am not a psycho. You can check my background with John.

    Keep being vunerable, it encourages everyone who reads your words.

  2. Ah my sweet daughter. You scare me and make me so proud all at once. I am so proud that you have such a heart for people that you are willing to make bold choices. But to tell the truth, as you know I have had my eyes opened in the last 3 years to the absolute depravity of man and it does concern me that you go ANYWHERE alone. Guess I have seen too much. So without sounding too parental, please still use some caution. I know it is hard to believe that someone would do something to you that you wouldn’t do to them, but I see it every day. I know your motives are so pure, but please (and remember this is your mom talking) be careful.

  3. Ashleigh…keep being vulnerable…thank you for your writing…i share the same heart and struggles….and i am still trying to express what i learned from “irresistible revolution” …don’t be surprised if more of your processing just comes out in your life…=)

    love you guys! and miss you a ton! but so thankful for your blog and your lives!

  4. Your Statement really rang true when i heard you mention why you moved to Memphis. There is something so true about how the poor, disenfranchised, needy, etc can bless you. More than anything my escapades into service to the poor have taught me that there is more going on than ‘saving the day.’

    your blog is great and funny. i hope to stop by more often. thanks for visiting living zugos. i hope it challenges us all to live and train with Jesus right where we live.

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