I know it may have felt like a miss on Sunday. But you know I was thinking of you. And I didn’t know on Sunday that this is what I needed to talk to you about.
I need to share this thing I found. Maybe this thing that found me. Maybe the distinction is completely irrelevant. All that matters is that I’ve seen it, and it can’t be unseen.
We’d have talked about it, at length on the way home from VOA. And probably long after we got home. For sure after we got home. I know it would have spoken to you just as deeply as it spoke to me. For sure.
You may know who Father Greg Boyle is. I feel like you and John spent more time than I watching Ted Talks and finding those really inspirational people who somehow catch the attention of someone who understands the power of their message, who then share it, as broadly as they can share it. So you may already know about Father Boyle’s work with gangs in Los Angeles and his ideas of Radical Compassion.
Father Boyle is literally spending his life “disrupting the notion that it’s possible there are people who are not our own; who don’t belong to us.”
Sharing the message that as soon as we understand that we belong to one another, “The minute we start to know what people carry, it breaks through, and we stand in awe of what they carry, rather than in judgment of how they carry it.”
He writes about it here.
I almost hate to put this in this letter, because I don’t want to dilute the power and essence of his words. But I think I have to share it. With you. With the people who are hanging with us. The ones whose lives you touched, and whose lives you continue to touch. (I literally hear this every. single. day. from someone.)
But here’s the thing. The last few weeks we’ve been talking about the idea of caring before curing. It feels so powerful and transformative - for ourselves, certainly - but also for the world. And then I stumble on this man who’s fully committed to the idea in such a fundamental way, and said it far, far better than I ever could. A man who is literally changing the world because he has the courage to meet every single person in compassion and kinship. The courage to care.
How could I not share it?
I’ve been thinking about what this website might become after your death. I’m still not sure, but let’s try this on. How about a place where we share the stories of those, like Father Boyle, who have gone beyond thinking and writing and talking about loving fiercely, and are doing it? Who are daring to care - even when it’s not popular - And highlighting the impact they’re having?
Right now, I’m kinda liquored up on the idea.
You know who you are.
I love you,