Several years ago, a good friend of mine (who is a priest in the Episcopal Church and godmother to our youngest daughter) and I were wandering through the bookshop at Washington National Cathedral when she picked up a copy of Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith and said, "You should really read Anne Lamott. She's great." This friend had never steered me wrong before - despite our spirited political discussions, which we approach from opposite ends of the spectrum - and so I cracked open the book. One paragraph into the first page, the thought "What the hell?!?" flashed through my mind, for there in stark black-and-white I was greeted with, "Better to go out by our own hands than to endure slow by scolding at the hands of the Bush administration."
My friend - the friend who had never steered me wrong - had put in my hands a book by a Bush-basher!
Giving her the benefit of the doubt, however, I purchased it, along with a few others, and took them home for a read. It was a struggle for me, however; I couldn't, no matter how hard I tried, get past her political musings. I was angry with Ms. Lamott, that much was certain. And I wasn't going to be very forgiving.
It was then I found the other Anne Lamott: the single mother, the recovering alcoholic and drug addict, the woman who in the midst of one of her darkest moments felt the presence of Jesus as he knelt by her in the corner. The self-professed flawed Christian who said, "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." THIS was the Anne Lamott to whom I could relate, the woman you wanted to hug and tell that everything would be alright, and that people loved her as much as Jesus loved her.