Faith Matters

Alejandra Oliva’s devoted attention at the border

A student of mine went to Tijuana to help. She found she could help the most simply by paying attention.

When I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, Martin Marty told us a story about philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer’s time there as a visiting lecturer. Marty was in charge of getting Gadamer to the airport at the end of his visit, and Gadamer wanted to go to the Art Institute first to see the paintings by Claude Monet.

“I’ll be glad to take you,” Marty said, “but the museum only has a few Monets.”

Gadamer replied, “I only have a few hours.”