"There is a manifesto by Idelette McVicker that has followed me throughout high school and college and has taken on a much more profound meaning for me as a fellow. I am going to read a section of it for you guys -
“Let us be a sanctuary where God may dwell. Let us be a garden for tender souls. Let us be a table where others may feast on the goodness of God. Let us be a womb for Life to grow. Let us be women who Love. Let us rise to the questions of our time. Let us speak to the injustices in our world. Let us move the mountains of fear and intimidation. Let us shout down the walls that separate and divide. Let us fill the earth with the fragrance of Love. Let us be women who Love.”
To my host family, The Jordan’s, not only have you guys accepted me into your family. But you have individually accepted me as your friend. I feel known and loved by each of you guys. You are silly, joyful, and loving and have affirmed these things in myself. I love you guys.
To my mentor, Marsha, this poem describes what is strong and mighty of women and also what is beautiful and delicate about you. Thank you for everything.
To my work at The Green Chair Project, not only are you guys welcoming people, but you are creating space in Raleigh for families to be an extension of that. Allowing them the space to be the “table” where others may fest on the goodness of God.
To the Crutchfields. Not only have you literally welcomed me to your table through numerous round table meals but also on those days where I show up at 2 pm and linger until 1 am. You have no other choice BUT to feed me. There are not enough words to say thank you. It is the biggest honor to be mentored by you guys and to be friends with you. And I can not leave without saying thank you to Molly Crutchfield. You have shown me so much grace and patience, that which far exceeds any 12 year old I know….. because I was never once on time picking you up from dance. I am sorry.
You guys have embodied every part of this poem. I have gotten to experience the tangible feast of the people of God this year. The celebration of the life of Christ Jesus. Thank you guys for everything and most importantly thank you for teaching me how to me a woman that loves."
The first practice we did in MVY's Spiritual Formation class was writing an obituary. It was to reflect on our lives and to learn the discipline of "beginning with the end in mind." So it seemed only fitting that my last blog post be my speech from the celebration dinner; my last public declaration of thanks to the Raleigh Fellows Committee and to all the people that have agreed to walk alongside me this year. Simply because. It is weird to be sitting in that "end." I would have never thought in September that the end would be this sweet and equally sad. But this end really is the beginning. THANK YOU Raleigh Fellows, you have changed my life. Ashley Crutchfield, I'm sorry I didn't do more of these. Consider this my parting gift.