Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tattoos on the Heart

I read a book that changed my life.  It broke me open and shattered my heart into a million pieces.  And then it comforted me.  And then I wanted EVERYONE to read it.  (The title is well, the title of this post).

I ache knowing I am taking it back to the library.  I want to mark it up or tear out parts and tape them to the wall.  I know me and I will do none of those things.  I'm just saying how I feel :).  So I will go back through, type out some of the quotes I want to have a record of and then place it by the door to go back.

Here are my excerpts:

A new sense of "church" had emerged, open and inclusive, replacing the hermetically sealed model that had kept the "good folks" in and the "bad folks" out.

Change awaits us.  What is decisive is our deciding.

We have a chance, sometimes, to create a new jurisdiction, a place of astonishing mutuality, whenever we close both eyes of judgment and open the other eye to pay attention.  Reminding each other how acceptable we are.  Suddenly, we find ourselves in the same room with each other and the walls are gone.

Close both eyes; see with the other one.  Then, we are no longer saddled by the burden of our persistent judgments, our ceaseless withholding, our constant exclusion.  Our sphere has widened and we find ourselves, quite unexpectedly, in a new, expansive location, in a place of endless acceptance and infinite love.  We've wandered into God's own "jurisdiction."

Only kinship.  Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it.  Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion.  Then we imagine, no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased.  We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied.  We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless.  At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out.  We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop.  We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away.

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