Jobs Not Jails The storIes from homeboy industrieS//Aleia frazell

Father Greg Boyle's book Tattoos on the Heart features stories of the homeboys and homegirls at Homeboy Industries in California. He tells the stories of those who found hope through the organization, and who were able to find God, and themselves.
Chapter 2: "I am a disgrace." This chapter is titled "Dis-Grace" because the homies often feel like a disgrace throughout, and let Father G know when they do. Out of these 19 pages, however, my favorite story was Speedy's. When he was a teenager, he was often found in parts of town where he shouldn't have been, but grew up to be a fine man. He married his teenage, if not childhood, sweetheart, Claudia, and had a family of three kids. His oldest was a girl, and he had two younger sons. He worked in an oil refinery, took his kids to Mass on Sundays, then goes to Mimi's Cafe. They read Harry Potter with each other, and they sit in Barnes and Noble for two hours so they can read. I just love this story and how this part was written for a few reasons. The first one being I'm a complete sucker for cute romance stories and happy endings, and this one really hit me in the "feels". Second, it shows that anyone, from anywhere, can do anything. This boy went from a broken home to building his own beautiful one.
Chapter 4: Water, Oil, and Flame. I believe this chapter is called "Water, Oil, and Flame" because it mainly focuses on the baptism and renewal of multiple homies. When we are baptized, we are blessed with holy water, oil, and candles, thus the name of the chapter. Out of this whole section, however, my favorite was George's story. The night before he was baptized, his brother was killed, and he didn't know about it until after the baptism. When he found out, he responded maturely, and calmly, in a way. Father G wrote: "It is as if the commitment he has just made in water, oil, and flame has taken hold and his grief is pure and true and more resembles the heartbreak of God." I think this story is my favorite because it shows just what baptism and God himself can do. Baptism and handing ourselves over to God can wash us free of our sins and anger, and can renew us into the people he planned for us to be.
Chapter 5: Slow Work. I believe this chapter is titled "Slow Work" because of how patient our God is. Often, we cannot accept how much better it is to live in the moment than to rush through life. Of these pages, my favorite story was Pedro, particularly his dream. In his dream, right after his brother committed suicide, he and Father G are in a room with no lights, and Father leads him to the light switch. More specifically, my favorite part of it was the quote, "And the light...is better...than the darkness...I guess...my brother...just never found the light switch." People can help us along the way to find the light in life, or lead us to it. Nevertheless, in the end, we have to take a leap of faith and choose to be happy. The light truly is better than the darkness, but the only person who can figure that out it ourselves.

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Created with images by Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view - "Home Boy Bakery & Home Girl Cafe"

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