Tattoos on the Heart Charlie zieLinski

Chapter 1: God, I Guess

This Chapter had many interesting points to it. One of the biggest that I noticed is that we all start to turn away from God at some point. It is the way we react to this that affects us later on. I think that the reason all gang members act the way they do is because they feel that God has betrayed them. Homeboy Industries and Father Greg help these people to find God again and turn back to him.

The story that spoke out to me the most in this chapter was that of Scrappy. He was a crazier man who was never on good terms with Father Greg. Their relationship was that of whoever had a better self-esteem. After awhile, Scrappy went to see Father Greg in his office and they forgave each other. Father Greg gave Scrappy a job and the two have been on good terms with each other since. I think this story of Scrappy shows that God can be found anywhere, anytime. We just need to start looking.

Chapter 3: Compassion

The theme I really noticed in this chapter is that we need to show compassion for everyone. Father Greg put a good explanation of how we can achieve this. We might think that Jesus picked the hard way just because it's more difficult. However, the reason he chooses the hard way is because it's the right way. To show compassion for everyone, we have to love our enemies. To get into Heaven, we have to show compassion.

One story I thought was very sad was that of Betito. This kid was only twelve years old and he hadn't had the chance to live out his whole life. He was the life of Father Greg's office and was always in a good mood. One day, however, he was shot and killed in a drive-by. This was extremely hard for Father Greg to bear, especially once he found out that he knew the people that killed Betito. This is when he came up with his theory of how you have to love your enemies.

Chapter 5: Slow Work

This chapter is all about the slow work of God. In order to have God help us, we must find ourselves. Often times we get caught thinking that we are the most important person. Without God, however, we are no one and can be no one. The only reason God can be slow to answer us is because we think that we are more important than others. Once we realized that his love for everyone is the same, he will answer our prayers.

The story from this chapter that I think really tied into the theme was Grumpy's story. He was a very self-centered person who wouldn't accept Father Greg's offer to take off his tattoos. Father Greg still gave him his business card and told Grumpy to call him. Five months later the two run into each other and Gripumpy decides to take him up on his offer. This story shows how God works. Grumpy took up Father Greg on his offer because he started to become less self-centered.

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