Wholly Favorable

We do not grow in favor with God throughtout our lives, but instead, over time, we come to realize that we are wholly favorable in our Father's eyes. That's a thought Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., introduced to my heart in his book, Tattoos on the Heart. Homeboy Industries is the biggest gang re-entry program in the United States. Started by Fr. Boyle and based in the heart of Los Angeles, it has not only become a saving grace to many men and women, but also a home, and a place to be heard, to be encouraged and supported, and to be loved.

Today we visited Homeboy Industries and the Homegirl Café. After reading even just half of his book, I was hooked on the program and the message Fr. Greg carries with him. Upon arriving at Homeboy, we were greeted by a woman named Elena. Little did we know, Elena herself, a poised, confident woman, had quite a story. What a lady. Easily one of the most remarkable comeback stories I've heard from a woman, she has turned her life around and for that, gives thanks to God. Elena wasn't the only one, though. There were so many success stories in that building just waiting to be shared, and I'm just waiting to listen.

Needless to say, my visit to Homeboy Industries was, as cliché as it sounds, all I hoped it to be and more. May God be with those who give second chances and with those who take those chances and make something remarkable from them. God, help us be people who see a second chance, grab hold of it, and turn it into something beautiful. Give us humble, listening hearts. Thank you for being a forgiving Lord and for creating us to be wholly favorable in Your eyes.

Peace,
Libby Harbaugh
UD 2015

ps. a special shout out to John Magee, a faithful servant of God in all that he does, who has put his heart into many people and never loses hope...God is constantly calling you to something special, don't ever forget that, and don't ever give up

Comments

  1. Libby, On Sunday I walked to a church in San Francisco with my friend from Uganda, Elizabeth Oola. We sat 2 rows behind 3 elderly women, and the two Filipino women were laughing and enjoying the story of the older black woman and the fact that she went dancing last night. It seemed like, dancing, was outside of their comfort zone, but they sure enjoyed hearing her stories.

    All I could think about was kinship. The kinship that Father Boyle challenges us to find. If we just knew each other and listened to each other's stories, I think we would spend a lot of time laughing.

    I am going to steal and paraphrase Fr. Boyle's words here. Libby, your heart has always been in the right place. My memories of you are those days when you ran around Nerinx to set something up or just to be kind.

    So this is where your heart has taken you, and now your feet are in the right place, too. They are standing in the middle of Homeboy Industries.

    I am so honored to be your teacher, and so very proud of the woman you are. And I cannot wait to follow your adventures, your kindness, and your grace for the next 30 years.

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