at CCDA conference this last week, one of the sessions led by Father Gregory Boyle really floored me. Father Boyle looks a lot like Santa Claus with his old man white beard and big smile and he has worked with gangs for the last 30 years in Los Angeles. some of the stories he shared of how he has seen God working in the lives of gang members were deeply moving.

This one in particular stood out for me:

Father Boyle told a powerful story of when he was travelling to go and do a talk somewhere and took three of his gangster guys with him. While they were driving there Manuel gets a phone call. It’s Snoopy [another gangster back at the base] and on speaker phone he tells them “I just got my ass arrested and I’m down at the jail and being charged for being the ugliest guy in the world. I need you to come down so i can prove they have the wrong guy.”

Father Boyle pauses for a moment as the laughter in the audience dies down, before saying, “And I realised… these are rival gang members… they used to shoot bullets at each other, now they shoot text messages.”

Stories like this encourage me immensely and fill me with the hope that this can happen again. And with people i know. How about you? Who are you pouring into?