It's Saturday, and I'm back home in my lived-in house that loves us all so well. It's never the wrong time to return to who we are, and I suppose I'm most Shannany here, with my mug of morning tea and dishes drying on a towel.
I spent last evening inside these hushed walls, frontal-lobe deep in what it means to really be in community. What does it look like? What does it mean? How can we ever hope to make our home among the poor and hurting without delineating their lives from ours, saying, essentially, "I am well; you are not"? The hard truth is, we have to know them enough to love them. We have to understand our own poverty. We have to come nose-to-ugly-nose with the ways our abundance and wealth hold us back from the rich kingdom of Christ, acknowledging the fact that this was not the way of Jesus.
So, now what?
How can we surrender and be rescued?
For now, I'm sharing two links, and I hope you'll listen to both if you find some down-time.
The first is a TED talk by Alive Goffman entitled How We're Priming Some Kids for College - and Others for Prison. I've now watched it twice and it rocks me to my core because, oh, could I toss the stories I know into her pot and stir. These 16 minutes are vitally important, especially in light of the continuous and mounting attacks on our shared humanity at the hands of racism and hate.
We cannot love what we do not know. And we cannot hate what we refuse to acknowledge.
Lastly, I listened to this NPR On Being podcast titled The Calling of Delight: Gangs, Service, and Kinship, featuring my ultimate homeboy/mentor for life, Father Gregory Boyle. It's him at his essence, and it will make you weepy. (Listening is so easy, just click over from the link and click Play Episode at the top right.)
"At Homeboy Industries, we seek to tell each person this truth: they are exactly what God had in mind when God made them - and then we watch, from this privileged place, as people inhabit this truth. Nothing is the same again. No bullet can pierce this, no prison walls can keep this out. And death can't touch it - it's just that huge." - Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle
May this weekend be one more step along our path to growth and loving more fully. I'm proud to call you part of my community and grateful for the chance to learn together.
*Thank you, Jenn, for sharing the TED talk with me and thanks to many of you who alerted me to the Father Boyle podcast. I have the best reader-friends ever!