I wasn’t sure how I would pull all of this together…and then a friend asked me one little question about what I heard Father Greg Boyle from Homeboy Industries, Inc. say last night. His talk was titled, ” Tattoos on the Heart: A Theology of Compassion and Kinship”.
Here is what I said:
holy shit guys!
This man is amazing…I would work for him for free!
Probably fell in love a little bit last night, truth be told…
I heard him speak at Rockhurst University.
I think they recorded it and I simply must get ahold of a copy. Too many times I was trying to memorize his words…really great words.
It was as if Garrison Keillor met Santa and East LA – rock the hell on
His message is so easy to hear…nothing complicated at first.
Go to the perimeter…reside there…in the hopes that you will increase the size of the circle and leave no one on the outside.
we are indeed all equal…do not “do for others”, but rather start with service…it is after all the hallway to the amazing ballroom of kinship, and that is where we all desire to reside…where one soul recognizes another – connections.
He quoted Mother Theresa when she said something about how we have forgotten that we belong to one another.
Talked about Jesus in the boat with Simon before he was called Peter and how Simon thought Jesus knew carpentry, not fishing, so why should he listen to Jesus about fishing…when Jesus told Simon to throw the net out right there…Simon thought, “there’s nothing there…” Father Boyle kept coming back to this…”look again…if at first you do not see, look again, and indeed look until you do see and understand and we will all have more than the boat can hold”.
He talked about how what we are called to do is to show up, hold a mirror up, and support others as they recognize themselves, come back to themselves, and realize that they are perfect…just as God intended them to be. I love these words.
He talked about his frustration with a misdiagnosis of gang activity…how task forces want it to be logical, and it is not, and to be organized, and it is not…how working with gangs for peace indicates that there is a conflict and there is not…just violence…that children do not run to gangs, they are running from the realities of their world.
He is about a bigger picture…one with hope…where gang is not on the list of choices for children.
He shared story after story about rival gang members working side by side sending texts instead of bullets…and other stories about his homies in general…not unlike those of students you have known and loved and I have known and loved…many gone too soon.
Before he was done speaking, a woman asked him to help her understand…to wrap her head around how to accept a cold blooded killer…he was so gentle, and kind, and truthful…he just talked of the vastness of the grace of God, and how no man should be judged by their single worst moment in time.
More than once he said if we are to love as God does, that means we are too busy loving to be disappointed…
THIS is good stuff.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull this all together for the blog…I think you just helped me Sha…thanks! 😉
He has a new book coming out that you will soon be able to preorder on Amazon: