This book is incredible. There are very few books I have ever stayed up all night to read and this was one of them. It is the story of a young woman who survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994. She lost most of her family except one brother. She forgave and met with some of the men who slaughtered her family. Immaculee is a woman of courage, faith, and radical example of mercy and forgiveness.
I read this book several months ago. It was absolutely eye-opening and equally heart breaking. Bryan Stevenson is a man who works tirelessly for men and women on death row in the South. He looks at some many issues that affect the incredibly high incarceration and death row numbers: poverty, racism, and prejudices of the criminal system still in effect today.
While I have always saw the death penalty as a critical pro-life issue, this opened my eyes in so many ways to the reality of life on death row and the many issues that affect the high incarnation rate in the US. A hard read, but one I think we all need today.
Fr. Greg Boyle is a Jesuit priest living and ministering to the Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. He created Homeboy Industries to help men and women leave the many life, create jobs and training, and offer them a new life of hope and healing.
Fr. Greg's writing was incredible and often left me breathless and deeply reflective. He is now on the ever growing list of people I would love to meet someday. Reading about the gang lifestyle opened up my eyes as it is not something I am terribly familiar with. I finished this book with a fuller, richer heart. And you will too.
This is maybe one of the best books I have read since the New Year. What initially interested me in the topic is that the author and his wife purposefully moved to Boys Town in Chicago, a predominately LGBT community. Their life work is dedicated in ministry, outreach, and working to have this conversation with love and understanding in the church.
When my brother was in college he did a mission trip to Boys Town with Emmaus Ministires, reaching out to and ministering to men in survival prostitution. I remember the experiences my brother shared with me, and being so touched by what he told me. It was something that stayed with me.
The premise of this book is how to have loving and pastoral dialogue with those in the gay community, whether Christian or not. An enlightening read that helped me start to understand the perspective of someone who identifies as a gay Christian and the pain many have experienced from church. This is an area I am increasingly convinced that the Church needs to be able to dialogue.
Mercy, grace, and forgiveness come in many different shades.
We can learn these life-changing lessons from many simple, even unexpected places, people, or situations.
Each of these books for me is giving me a radical, unique insight into the power of grace and the healing that comes from forgiveness. If you're looking for an different kind read during the year of mercy, I'd highly recommend any of these!
What books would you add to this list? What reads are teaching you about grace and mercy right now?