Ruskin urges us to the “Duty to Delight.” It was an admonition to be watchful for the hilarious and the heartwarming, the silly and the sublime. This way will not pass again and so there is a duty to be mindful of that which delights and keeps joy at the center, distilled from all that happens to us in a day.
We bask in God’s unalloyed joy, and we let loose with the same joy in whoever is in front of us. Then we exhale, (for the breath has to go somewhere) - to breathe into the world this same spirit of delight, confident that this is God’s only agenda.
I suppose Jesus walks into a room and loves what He finds there. Delights in it, in fact. Maybe, He makes a beeline to the outcast and chooses, in them, to go where love has not yet arrived. His ways aren’t our ways, but they sure could be.
Leon Dufour, a Jesuit theologian said, ” … in the end, God is the person you’re talking to, the one right in front of you.” Keep focused in delight on the person in front of you. (This reminds me of what Heidi Baker, missionary to Mozambique, always says, “Stop for the One. Love the One in front of you.”
Sr. Elaine Roulette, founder of My Mother’s House in New York, was asked, “How to you work with the poor?” She answered, “You don’t. You share your life with the poor.” It’s as basic as crying together. It’s about ‘casting your lot’ before it ever becomes about ‘changing your lot.’
Mark Torres, with Homeboy Industries, says,”We see in the homies what they don’t see in themselves, until they do.” You stand with the least likely to succeed until success is succeeded by something more valuable: kinship….. Kinship is not serving the other, but being one with the other. Jesus was not ‘a man for others.’ He was one with them. There is a world of difference in that.
Kinship –> Community –> Circle of Compassion
Well, my friends, I hope you are inspired by these few posts on “Tattos on the Heart.” The book is filled with wonderful stories, full of humor, pain, love, and compassion.
Blessings to you this week, May we “Stop for the one!”
PS. Heidi Baker is one of my heroes, check out her books! She will encourage you to “Stop for the One!”