I go to church sometimes not needing comfort for my own private griefs but seeking consolation for the slow unfolding trainwreck that is called human history. I go to church sometimes hoping to find forgiveness not for myself but for my ancestors, my parents, my children and their children who will one day be born and will have to live (who knows how?) in whatever diminished world that I bequeath to them. I go to church sometimes not to be reconciled to anybody in particular, but because for fifty thousand years the land beneath my feet was home to other peoples, and I am hoping by some miracle to be reconciled to them. I go to church sometimes not seeking peace within my own soul but hoping to find relief from the raging violence that has boiled in the blood of all my brothers since the time of Cain.
“The significant difference between these readings is who the primary interlocutors are; the pope has chosen to read with other trained –scholarly–readers in a place of privilege and power, whereas I have chosen to read with ordinary African readers in places of poverty and marginalization. The significant similarity between these readings is that they are both readings that matter; both these readings will have effects in and on the lives of people. For those of us who work in contexts where readings of the Bible matter, whom we choose to read with makes a difference that matters.” Gerald O. West “the academy of the poor” pp. 32, 33.