Thursday, September 15, 2022

Barking to the Choir - Book Review

barking to the choir book cover
Some books change us by flipping what we think we know, or what we think we are about, on its head. Barking to the Choir is one of those books. I am not the same person I was when I first cracked open the cover of this book.

In showing me what radical kinship looks like—in living it out on these pages—Gregory Boyle has me wondering: 

What if outreach to the marginalized is really about being willing to be reached by them?

What if it's about receiving rather than giving or doing?  You know—truly receiving the unwelcome with a welcoming embrace?

What if I came to know, deep within my core, that you are the other me, and I am the other you... that our separateness is only an illusion?

What if I said yes to entering into the fullness of kinship with you, and you, and you?

What if we meet there at the edge of I and Not I and discover unity?

What if we lifted one another out of isolation by merely showing up... every time?

Perhaps radical kinship begins with living these questions. 

Perhaps compassion is the answer to every question.

Perhaps the welcoming embrace begins there—begins here.

I open myself to it... to being it.

I invite you into this beautiful kinship. 

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  1. Wow! Talk about taking you out of your comfort zone in an unusual way. Sounds like a very soul-searching book. Thanks for this fascinating review, Diana.

    1. Sometimes our comfort zone needs a bit of a shake-up!

  2. Wow. What a compelling book. I echo what Elf said. Thanks for a great review.

    1. I had never thought about kinship until reading this book. Everything about it is compelling... especially how it transforms us... and makes it possible for us to have the ultimate relationships.

  3. At first, I was thinking Hebrews 13:2, but as I continued to read, I realized you (and the book) meant bringing the outcast into the fold and allowing love to dominate actions, thoughts, and feelings. I suspect fear keeps most of us from literally doing that.

  4. Fear can be the enemy of kinship. This book speaks to how we must be fearless for one another. Quite often, fear of otherness gets in the way (our fear of the unknown). Oh, to tap into the Love that drives out all fear.

  5. Once again, Sylvestermouse has expressed my thoughts better than I could. I so admire your fearlessness and willingness to be vulnerable and welcoming in the face of the unknown and unwelcome!

    1. I am a work in progress. Those who allow me to receive them are my guides.

  6. Oh my dear Diana, you have hit me right between the eyes. This is something that I learned and remind myself of everyday. During our Practicum year, my other half and I entered the reality of the homeless and hopeless. It was an eye opening experience and one that I need to remind myself of daily. We are not at all different, we just need to look beyond! Thank you for this book review, I will read it for sure! Moving it to the top of my piles! <3

  7. To learn and learn and learn and re-remember... each and every day. This is how we love and lift. May this book stir your spirit.

  8. I think along these lines quite often. I'm a stronger believer in that famous saying that we are not humans living a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience. If it was just our circumstances that defined us, what a lost cause we would be. Most people are good people (hard to say that these days) but I still feel it is true. Walking a mile in someone's shoes; empathy, compassion - what are we without that.

  9. I do believe we are spiritual beings. I also believe we are having this human experience to learn how to love. The one true poverty is a poverty of spirit. This quest we are on is to remind others of their goodness, their intrinsic value, and their "enoughness." It is enough to be you (and I honor the you of you).

  10. This sounds like a beautifully uplifting and spiritual book. I too believe that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and empathy and compassion go a long way in this world. Thank you for sharing and introducing us to this inspiring book.

    1. Yes... empathy and compassion are two very potent superpowers everyone can use for good in this world.


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