I had a notification on Facebook this afternoon that made me stop and stare in disbelief for a while. It said “296 people liked your comment”. At that point I had no idea which comment or even on what post they were talking about, but apparently 296 people liked it.
Naturally my curiosity got the better of me and I had to look and see what clever thing I had written that had appealed to so many people. It turned out to be a comment I made on one of Anne Lamott’s posts. It was a comment I made about three months ago. In truth, I had forgotten all about it. Let this be a reminder to all of us that anything we post publicly lives on potentially forever on the internet.
A day or so ago Anne Lamott made a public comment about Caitlyn Jenner that many people found offensive and hurtful. I don’t blame them. It was offensive and hurtful. As far as we have come in this country with accepting gender identities that do not match what we were taught were the only options, or at least the only acceptable options, we still have a long way to go. I believe that Anne Lamott did do something wrong. She also heard when she was confronted with it and she has apologized. Let’s give her the opportunity to learn a new way of thinking, acting, and feeling about transgender persons. Let’s forgive her. If we love someone, we don’t stop loving because they did something wrong.
I love Anne Lamott. I love her not only because she is a really good writer, but also (and maybe even mostly) because she is a broken person who continues to make mistakes and she keeps pulling herself up and moving forward – she keeps living, keeps making mistakes, keeps starting again – and deep down she knows that God still loves her no matter what. I love Anne Lamott because she is human and she knows it and she doesn’t pretend to be anything but a fallible sinner and a child of God.
Because I love Anne Lamott and what she writes I am flattered to know that 296 of her readers liked what I had to say. So here it is in case you are curious:
“The year after I graduated from college (long before cell phones) a female friend and I were making a weekend trip back Austin to visit friends when we hit a patch of ice and went spinning off the road, thankfully coming to rest safely, if shook up quite a bit. About 3 minutes later as we were gathering our wits we sat and watched another car hit the same patch of ice and spin right into us. I’ll try to make this story shorter (it was a long night.) No one was hurt, thank you sweet Jesus. A tire was flat but the car was drivable and within a reasonable amount of time we were back on the freeway headed to Austin. Then another tire went flat and we had no second spare. This time it was it was late and we were a long ways from any exit and it was dark and cold. A car pulled up behind us and a dirty man with a scraggly beard got out and asked if we needed help. He was, frankly, scary looking but we were feeling desperate. He took the newly flat tire off and got it to the next exit for a quick fix to hold us until we got to Austin and could buy a new one. We thanked him profusely for his help and he refused to let us pay him or even to pay for the fix on the tire. We were so grateful to finally arrive in Austin safe and sound (in body at least.) The next morning I realized I never even asked his last name. I had no way to contact him to write a proper thank you note, as one does. So I asked God to give that man a little extra blessing. We had to wait a couple days for the car to get fixed (it was just a little more damaged than we realized) and during that time I went down to the administration building at UT to get some transcripts sent. While I was waiting in the hall, a tall dark and handsome man walked up to me and said he was glad to see I made it okay. Okay, he was tall, but maybe not very dark, and he looked really nice. It took me a minute to realize it was the man who had helped us two days before. Turns out he had been somewhere fishing or hunting or someplace where he didn’t have to shave and got to wear his old comfortable clothes for a few days. So many lessons here. it was a real risk for two young women to open our car doors to a strange man on a dark and mostly deserted road. But we chose to trust and he turned out to be the answer to a prayer. I still ask God for a special blessing for him every now and then.”
Whew, that was a long comment. I have a lot of nerve posting that much on a famous writer’s post. I’m thankful she didn’t delete it or advise me to get my own blog.
Then I thought, “Hey, wait a minute. I already have my own blog. Just a week or so ago a friend of mine prodded me to start writing in it (on it?) again. So okay, here’s a new post. I’ll start working on some others.