A quote from Greg Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart –  very highly recommended – was a refreshing gift this morning. As always Greg Boyle captures the heart of the Christian calling with such vivid simplicity. Quoting the American poet Jack Gilbert, he writes: “the pregnant heart is driven to hopes that are the wrong size for this world.” (p. 172)


The quote reminded me (again) of the recent Great Lakes Leadership Institute, and the incredible stories o f hope (“exhibits of new creation” we called them) from leaders like Archbishop Odama (left): ‘my tribe is humanity’; Angelina Atyam: ‘every child is my child’; David Kasali: ‘baptism baptizes everything’…….

All these leaders, indeed, all the leaders I know and admire: Nelson Mandela, Thomas Sankara, Paride Taban, Maggy Barankitse ……they all have this in common: they are “pregnant with hopes that are the wrong size for this world.”  This is what makes them restless, even ‘odd’ – never able to fit in with the accepted conventions of what is ‘normal – but always searching for a more, reaching out something better, for a future not yet realized.

Moreover, they are not only (themselves) pregnant with the sort of out of size hope that Boyle writes about, they inspire the same pregnant hope and serve as its midwives in others, including those that society tends to write off.

For the good news is that “anyone in Christ, there is a new creation (2cor 5: 17) – translation: “every baptized is pregnant with hopes that are the wrong size for this world.”

What a powerful reminder with which to begin the Lenten journey! Throughout the season, I will name and claim this good news, while pondering the best ways to nurture and bring to term my own small pregnancy!


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