Title: Assimilate or Go Home
Author: D.L. Mayfield
Synopsis: “From childhood, the author longed to be a missionary, so she was thrilled when the opportunity arose to work with a group of Somali Bantu refugees in her hometown of Portland, OR. As the days, months, and years went by, her hopeful enthusiasm began to wear off, her faith became challenged, and the real work of learning to love and serve her neighbors grew harder, deeper, and more complex. In this collection of stunning and surprising essays, Mayfield invites readers to reconsider their concepts of justice, love, and reimagine being a citizen of this world and the upside-down kingdom of God.”
Why I can’t live without this book: I can’t recommend this book more highly – maybe it’s because Mayfield’s experience mirrors my own in so many ways, or because she speaks to my inner Oregonian (and my inner fighter-for-justice and my inner love-conquers-all self). Her writing is poetic, and the concepts she weaves together spot on. If you’re in the spiritual memoir camp, this book (which happens to be the newest feature of all 31 books) is a must-read!
(One of my) favorite quotes: “Slowly, I started to enter more fully into the world of my refugee friends. As the days and months blended into years, I experienced strange paradoxes. The more I failed to communicate the love of God to my friends, the more I experienced it for myself. The more overwhelmed I felt as I became involved in the myriad of problems facing my friends who experience poverty in America, the less pressure I felt to attain success or wealth or prestige. And the more my world started to expand at my periphery, the more it became clear that life was more beautiful and more terrible than I had been told.” Like I said, read it.
So, Assimilate or Go Home: have you read it yet? Does D.L. Mayfield’s writing change you like it does me?
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