Friday, October 8, 2010

Tattoos on my heart

Several months ago I posted a video about Father Greg Boyle and the financially troubled Homeboy Industries. After a long wait, I'm finally reading his amazing book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, and it is wrecking me in the best possible way.

I'm a collector of stories about the power of love to heal and transform and this book is brimming with them. As Father Greg writes in his preface, "Clearly, the themes that bind the stories together are things that matter to me. As a Jesuit for thiry-seven years and a priest for twenty-five years, it would not be possible for me to present these stories apart from God, Jesus, compassion, kinship, redemption, mercy, and our common call to delight in one another. 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. William Blake wrote, 'We are put on earth for a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love.' Turns out this is what we all have in common, gang member and nongang member alike: we're just trying to learn how to bear the beams of love."

This book will do you the priceless service of breaking your heart, increasing its capacity to love.