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This Flowing Toward Me: A Story of God Arriving in Strangers [Paperback]

By Marilyn Lacey (Author)
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Item Number 418676  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.29" Height: 0.53"
Weight:   0.68 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   Ave Maria Press
ISBN  1594711976  
EAN  9781594711978  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
What began in 1979 as a response to a random bulletin board posting would ultimately change Sister Marilyn Lacey's life - and the lives of countless refugees. In vivid prose, Sister Lacey narrates her 25 year spiritual journey of work with those displaced by conflict and disaster. In the spirit of Dead Man Walking, she invites us to solidarity with some of the world's most vulnerable. Timely and engaging, This Flowing Toward Me offers fresh, personal insights into the world of refugees and international immigrants. More importantly, it stirs our hearts to remember the gospel mandate to welcome the stranger.

Publishers Description
What began in 1979 as a response to a random bulletin board posting would ultimately change Sister Marilyn Lacey's life--and the lives of countless refugees. In vivid prose, Sister Lacey narrates her twenty-five year spiritual journey of work with those displaced by conflict and disaster. In the spirit of Dead Man Walking, she invites us to solidarity with some of the world's most vulnerable. Timely and engaging, This Flowing Toward Me offers fresh, personal insights into the world of refugees and international immigrants. More importantly, it stirs our hearts to remember the gospel mandate to welcome the stranger.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Grace in Action  May 1, 2010
I confess: I frequently judge a book by its cover, so I didn't expect much from Marilyn Lacey's book, "This Flowing Toward Me: A Story of God Arriving in Strangers" (TFTM). But I was gratefully surprised by this nun's journey to the edge of civilization to serve hands-on with refugees.

A refugee is "a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country."

Lacey's journey began when she and her sisters gave hospitality to a family from Laos, freshly arrived in California. From there on Lacey's life is gradually consumed by caring for refugees. Sometimes she's far afield in a Majority World nation, at other times helping refugees (like the Sudanese "lost boys") assimilate into the United States. Eventually we learn that Lacey began a non-profit in 2008, "Mercy Without Borders," "whose mission is to partner with displaced women and children overseas in ways that help them move out of extreme poverty."

Stories like TFTM threaten to overwhelm readers with numerous tales of brutality, devastation and deprivation. Lacey judiciously weaves lighter elements into the story as a life preserver, sharing, for example, the many times she's been asked to eat creepy-crawly food that would turn the stomach of most Americans.

Humanitarian aid has become trendy in the early 21st century, an interesting asterisk on the resume of Hollywood stars. But Sister Lacey's story pushes beyond the glitz and glamour of attention-getting efforts at charity. Her charitas is personal and sacrificial, much of it done hidden away from the limelight. She has spent many years getting her hands dirty in a world overrun with violence of many kinds, violence that we in North America are often blissfully unaware of. I'm grateful for her example and service.

But I most appreciate the theological reflection woven into her story because those insights add a level of depth that's missing from most humanitarianism of the famous (Bono of U2 the exception). The title of her book is from a poem called The Music of Rumi, the 13th century Persian Muslim thinker. The poem expressed Lacey's sense of God's never-ending grace which put her service in good order. That grace enabled her to see those in need not as faceless beggars but as people like her. It also empowered her to grasp once again her own constant need of God's grace in Jesus Christ. Rumi's poem says:

For sixty years I have been forgetful
Every minute, but not for a second
Has this flowing toward me stopped or slowed.
I deserve nothing. Today I recognize
That I am the guest the mystics talk about.
I play this living music for my Host.
Everything today is for the Host.

"This Flowing Toward Me" is definitely worth the time.
 
Should be an Oprah Book Club Choice  Sep 24, 2009
This book is soooo heart warming and just a really good read. It has many entertaining and interesting stories that point out cultural differences she witnessed during her work with the refugees at Catholic Charities in San Jose, CA. Everybody I passed this book on to had great reports of enjoying it. Talk about a Purpose Driven Life! Since this book was written, I found out that Sister was instrumental in starting a school for 800 girls in Southern Sudan, near Kenya. [...]
 
Eye-Opening  Sep 19, 2009
Marilyn Lacey not only breaks the stereo-type of the way nuns are viewed, but also opens our eyes to the many ways and possiblities God can touch us if we only allow Him to.

This is not simply a story of how Lacey "rescued" and ministered to refugees, but also her personal strengths and struggles that allowed her to do so. In the chapter titled "God Who Weeps," Lacey includes a letter she wrote to God during these struggles:
"Yahweh,
Do you see these tears? Have you read any of these letters from the austerity camp? Can you see Bounchanh and his wife and children? He writes that his heart is broken, but that he still finds some peace because he truly believes YOU will some day 'help him to get out of this...' I cried--no, I broke down and sobbed--when I read those words. Then I felt like screaming, 'No, it's not true! God won't rescue the poor man.' Oh, sure, I know that the Scriptures are full of such promises, but they seem empty now, all of them..."

This is a story of faith, discouragement, transformation, trasitions, doubt, and God's promises. This should be a must read for anyone looking into or thinking about doing mission work, working with refugees, or just needing a boost in their faith. Keeping the faith and following God's path &/or will is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it.
 
Must-Read For Those Concerned About U.S. Immigration Policy!  Jun 20, 2009
This is a timely book about one of the most controversial issues of today that I've read! In my opinion, This Flowing Toward Me by Marilyn Lacey is a must read for politicians, teachers, civic leaders, and anybody who is concerned about immigration activities in the United States.

Though written as a memoir, this book is really about the many, many interactions the author has had with and about refugees. "Marilyn Lacey invites those of us living behind locked doors in a world shuttered by homeland security...and...discover that where we most felt threatened, a wealth of blessings awaits us." (back cover) This book is written as an inclusive text on all religions, for in reading of Marilyn's experiences, we will see that it is not about religion, but about all of the millions of people who, if given the proper welcome, would become a friend.

Sister Lacey's story begins when her convent welcomed Nhia Bee, his wife and five children from Thailand, all of who knew no English. During that visit, Marilyn realized how much the family had come to mean to her. And then she had a dream in which one of the children told her "we're here to teach you a new way of loving." And that was the beginning.

As an active professional woman, Sister Lacey quickly became involved and leader of many activities regarding refugee entrance into America. Many of her stories are about the people, but there is also much she shares about her personal journey. I empathize especially with her chapter about spiders--the insects we women all love to hate, even if they are God's creatures! Imagine being confronted with a spider as big as your fist!

It is the latter part of the book where the Sister begins to speak to us, pointing out all of the Biblical stories where Jesus chose to befriend the stranger, the alien, the weary and downtrodden. With sufficient clarity she challenges--can we do less?

There is so much confusion, frustration and fear regarding immigrants to America. Let Sister Marilyn Lacey use her book, This Flowing Toward Me to help you answer the question, "What would Jesus Do?"

G. A. Bixler





 
Enlightening  May 22, 2009
I found the book to be a dose of perspective in this recession. I see how people are complaining about how bad things are everyday at work. After reading this book I felt rich and thankful for having it so good even in an economic downturn.
I also realized how much value we put into wealth. The refugees in this book valued family much more than possessions. I began thinking how independent we are. I learned a lot from the refugees' stories about valuing my family and faith more.

I will never forget the story about a family who was given 5 rooms in a convent for mother and 4 children. They all used just one room because they thought it was silly to be all alone at night. Also, a tale was told about a boy who missed breakfast because his brothers were late for school -- The boy wouldn't consider eating without his family.

It's also worth mentioning that I'm a reformed evangelical. Even though there were a point or two on theology that we would disagree on, it wasn't enough of a factor to change my 5 star rating. I found it very well worth reading and recommending. Evangelicals or Catholics considering missionary work should definitely read this one.
 

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