Sunday, March 3, 2019

When you fill my heart...Thank you Special Olympian Amy Bockerstette

There are plenty of statistics on Americans and our reading habits, but I have yet to see the numbers re: how many of us read a book more than once. Might be interesting to poll how many people have read a book more than three times? ten times? Have you? 

Typically, surveys query what we read for pleasure—not for work or for school—but I have had the distinct pleasure of teaching the book "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion" by Greg Boyle, SJ for the past seven years. This also means that I have re-read it seven times. Maybe I don't deserve credit for doing so, but I can still make an argument for why a person might return to a text for a second, third or seventh time. 

With each reading, I have made new connections. I respond to insights I once missed. I highlight different stories and discover ideas I want to share with my students. I continue to laugh at certain jokes. What a gift literature can be. 
This year a simple quote in the introduction of "Tattoos" caught my attention. Boyle writes "When you fill my heart, my eyes overflow." Rather than underline or circle these words, I simply wrote the word "Wow." I knew there was something there. I played with that image in my mind. I knew I would return to this truth, but I wasn't sure when or how...until I did.

Several days prior, a friend shared with me and other golf girlfriends an e-mail with the subject line: inspirational video. I have yet to read or view content from this friend that isn't good (what a great reputation to have). I had some time to go through my inbox a week later only to click the video's link and this is what I saw.
The 16th hole at the Phoenix Open is infamous. As written for ABC News, it is the only enclosed hole on the PGA Tour. "It sets up as a golfing amphitheater — fans at the TPC Scottsdale course provide a raucous backdrop during tournament play, and many top golfers don't deal very well with the atmosphere." But that was not true for Amy Bockerstette as she made par—inspiring the 2018 champion Gary Woodland and playing partner, Matt Kuchar.

I watched this story in utter delight. I loved Amy's reactions to the atmosphere and the fans. I marveled at her swing! Pretty good! I nodded when she rebuffed Gary Woodlawn's offer to get the ball out of the bunker. And when Amy sank the 8-foot putt for par, I leaned my head back and my eyes became two pools on the verge of overflowing. Her feat made me smile. A sense of real joy welled in my heart. I cried.

I retuned to the original e-mail. Another girl friend wrote "Saw this clip come up on my FB yesterday. Loved it. I cried. Wish all golfers had this positive attitude and smile on their face." It was affirming to read a friend had a similar reaction. I internalized her message and thought how much I want my golf team to see this story and consider the challenge to be more like Amy in our attitude and disposition.

"Tattoos on the Heart" offers the world many truths through stories, poetry, quotes and more. Through his text, Father Greg has shared an experience that is universal...our hearts do fill up! Consequently, our eyes will overflow. I also appreciate that social media has allowed for me to see what Amy Bockerstette did at the 2019 Phoenix Open. If I hadn't read the book seven times, I'm not sure it would stay with me in the way that is has.

I shared Amy's story with my students in class. The clapped when she made par. I then read Boyle's quote and concluded my remarks with how we end every prayer, every day. I said, "St. Ignatius" Together we responded "Pray for us."

Photo Credits

No comments:

Post a Comment