Mary Jo Leddy is the founder of Romero House in Toronto. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and serves as a senior fellow at Massy College, University of Toronto. Her many books include Radical Gratitude. In this soul-searching book, Leddy makes a convincing case that today's refugees are serving as urban spiritual teachers. She calls them "the other face of God."
These strangers and outsiders stretch our ideas about the Creator, poverty, justice, and human rights, and the meaning of the Holy Grail of freedom. They help us to see the indifference and cruelty of large institutions and systems that treat outsiders shamefully. They challenge the ideas of imperialism and of North America as "the Center of the World."
• "To live in the center of the world is to assume that we can and should change the world.
• "To live in the center of the world is to constantly be disappointed when things don't get better.
• "To live in the center of the world would be to assume that our problems are the most important in the world."
Thank God there are prophetic voices who offer other visions, such as writer, thinker, and Appalachian farmer Wendell Berry. In his more than 40 books, he presents odes to a simpler way of life that eschews progress and celebrates loyalty, affection, humility, and presence.
The Other Face of God is a timely paperback that speaks to the warps in our society when borders are becoming walls and strangers, like the one in the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan, are being ignored or harassed. For Leddy the church must stand apart from the larger culture and heed the call of the newcomers and learn from them what we have forgotten about justice, human rights, respect, and inclusivity.