by Rich Perez
Part memoir, part sermon, part cultural critique, part church exhortation, part worldview spanking, Mi Casa Uptown: Learning To Love Again was, for me, a much-needed look at city, neighborhood, church, and home through the eyes of someone who sees each differently and, in many respects, better than I do. Thank you Rich Perez.
Rich helped me see that hospitality is at the heart of God, and the implications for his city and mine, his neighborhood and mine, his neighbor and mine. Mi Casa Uptown reminds me that "loving my neighbor" is more than opening the doors of my house; it is opening the doors of my life.
Written in a casual style, but so well communicated, Rich drew me in with his stories and sprinkling of Spanish even as he was setting me up for his teaching and this challenge: there is a vast difference between the truth and living the truth.
If you want to understand what Jesus meant when he said, "Love your neighbor," read this book.
Here are five more reasons to read Mi Casa Uptown:
1. Perspective: I gleaned so much, in part, because of Rich's "rich" experiences as a Dominican-American in Washington Heights -- both as a child and now as an adult.
2. Neighbor or Resident: This distinction hit home with me. I think it will with you. See Chapter 1: Plant Roots.
3. Immigrants: Rich also gave me much-need perspective on immigrants culturally ("a culture that only sees its shadow) and theologically.
4. Diversity: It's a challenge, in part, because diversity often makes me see things from someone else's perspective -- which means I will have to work to process, consider, and respond. I can't rest in the comfort of my own view.
5. Theological and cultural insight Mi Casa Uptown shows the astute cultural and theological insight from one who has lived, studied, and reflected on both.