I ran across this book, and saw that Anne Lamott had written that she loved it. I'm a fan of Anne Lamott, and the back of the book made it sound interesting, so I picked it up. It's the story of a woman whose life is turned upside down when she experiences communion for the first time.
Raised by staunch atheist parents, Sara spends the first part of her life thinking that religion and Christianity have nothing to say that is of much worth. She works a few years in restaurant kitchens, which sets the tone for the rest of the book and how her life revolves around food. Then she spends some years in other countries, meeting all sorts of interesting characters and sharing food with them.
She ends up back in San Francisco and, for some reason, stumbles into the sanctuary of St Gregory's Episcopal Church during a service. She goes through the line for communion, and in the act of eating and drinking the elements, her life is changed. She ends coming back to the church over and over again, craving communion.
Her experiences there lead her to follow the words of Jesus when he says to the disciple Peter, "Do you love me?... Feed my sheep." She starts a food pantry at St Gregory's, in the sanctuary, surrounding the altar, where they end up serving about 300 people a week. She writes about the people, all sorts of people, who end up coming for food and end up sticking around as volunteers.
It's a great story, though there was one thing in particular that rubbed me the wrong way. Miles did not grow up in the church, and hasn't had much experience with the traditional church. All of her references then, come from her time spent at St Gregory's. She doesn't seem to have much use for other churches, often almost criticizing the way different churches do things, such as using wafers rather than bread for communion.
Overall, it was a good book. I read it fairly quickly and enjoyed it. Her vision of what the Church, the Kingdom of God, should be is radically inclusive and inspiring. She is someone who is not afraid to allow her faith to move her into action and service for all people. This is a good book, but don't take it from me! Find out for yourself!!