March 19, 2013

Book Report: Tattoos on the Heart

If there is a fundamental challenge within these stories, it is simply to change our lurking suspicion that some lives matter less than other lives.









Kindness is the only strength there is.

It has been awhile since we did a “book report.”  Remember last year when we shared about Stones into School by Greg Mortenson?  We promise that we have read some books since then!

Sometimes resilience arrives in the moment you discover your own unshakeable goodness.

We both just finished up reading “Tattoos on the Heart” by Gregory Boyle.  We are grateful to a previous MCC worker who recommended that we use it as a required text for our current course, Social Science Research and Community Development.  We look forward to sharing it with our students here in Nicaragua because we believe that it is a special book that tells the story well, the story of redemption, hope and care that can come from our relationships with others.

God can get tiny, if we're not careful.

The book relates the life and work of Father Boyle, a Jesuit priest living in Los Angeles.  Boyle founded Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program that provides training, job skills and hope to gang members who are seeking to create a life for themselves outside of the gangs.  Father Boyle tells the story well, relating the hopes, dreams and sadness's that have come throughout his twenty years of his work in the most densely populated gang neighborhood in the U.S.  As we read, we cried, we laughed, and our perceptions were challenged as we thought about what Boyle’s work and the communities response meant for our lives and our work.

Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.

If you are interested in hearing more about Father Boyle, check out this interview that he did with Minnesota Public Radio last year.  Click here:

Terror melting into wonder, then slipping into peace.


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TJ said...

thank you for this quote...humbling to think how we judge how the poor carry themselves here in America. It many ways I think it helps us justify all the selfish ways we choose to carry ourselves from day to day.