Tattoos on the Heart interpreted by gracie killgore

Preface and Introduction: A major theme of the preface and introduction is change. In the preface, Fr. Greg talks about him being the pastor of Dolores Misson Church and seeing the need for a program to help gang members change their lives. One of my favorite stories from these chapters was about Luis. Luis was one of the biggest drug dealers around. However, once his daughter, Tiffany, was born everything changed. He began to work at the Homeboy Bakery and gave tours to people. After one tour, Luis told Greg that white people always say the word "great." Luis now paid his rent with money he honestly earned. One day, Tiffany walks into their modest apartment and said her home is great. Luis's eyes watered, and Fr. Greg told Luis that he was great. Fr. Greg told this story at Luis's funeral. This story shows me how people can turn their lives around and that everyone has goodness in their hearts. This chapter also showed me that through your actions, you can change the lives of other people.

Chapter 1: "God, I Guess" This chapter has a theme of family and how God is your father. Throughtout the chapter, we see the importance of loved ones and family. It also highlights how God will always be there and will always love you no matter what you have done. One of my favorite stories from these chapters was about Cesar. Cesar was a scary and mean looking gang member who had been to jail. He needed some clothes so him and Greg went to JCPenny. While they were at the store, the other customers stared at Cesar and were afraid of him. Cesar yelled, "Do I look that scary?" Fr. Greg laughed and said yes. The next day at 3:00 in the morning Cesar calls Fr. Greg and asks him if he is Fr. Geg's son. Fr. Greg answers yes. Even though they were not biologically related, Cesar thought of Fr. Greg as a father to him and Fr. Greg told Cesar he is a son worth having. I think this story is very powerful and shows how much having people who love and support you matters. It also teaches me that God always sees us as sons and daughters worth having.

Chapter 2: Dis-Grace- In this chapter, a main theme is acceptance. The people in these stories learned that God will never think of them as a disgrace and will always accept them with loving arms. A story I found powerful in this chapter is about Carmen. Carmen was a heroin addict, gang member, and an occasional prostitute. She had been to fifty rehabilitation centers. Carmen came into Fr. Greg's office one day and said she needed help. Carmen went to Catholic school all her life and even graduated from high school. She started to use heorin when she graduated and has been trying to stop ever since. Carmen looks over at Fr. Greg and says she is a disgrace. This story shows me that God will always accept me for who I am no matter what my past is. It also shows me that we need to accept others and look out for them. God will always be by our side and will forever think of us as His children.

Chapter 3: Compassion- The theme of compassion is displayed throughout this chapter. In this chapter, I learned that compassion comes from the deepest part of your heart that brings the sufferings of others to yourself. My favorite account in this chapter was about Betito. Betito was a funny 12 year old boy who picked up English phrases from TV. He and Greg called each other "The Real Deal." Betito was shot by gang members and had to undergo six hours of surgery. He survived the surgery, but two hours into recovery he died. This was my favorite account because it showed how young kids can make a huge impact on someone's life and how close Greg's relationships with his homies are. It also showed me that it is very important to have compassion for other people. God is always compassionate for us and our sufferings.

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