Or at any rate, my favorite of the stories in Barack Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope – the story of his first meeting alone with Senator Robert Byrd, the elder statesmen of the U. S. Senate when Barack arrived – and a former member of the Klu Klux Klan.
Barack said to the Senator that it was remarkable that he had found time to write the Senate histories he had produced over his long lifetime. “Oh, I have been very fortunate….Much to be thankful for. There’s not much I wouldn’t do over.” Then Senator Byrd looked squarely into Barack’s eyes, “I only have one regret, you know. The foolishness of youth….”
“We sat there for a moment,” Barack says, “considering the gap of years and experience between us.”
” “We all have regrets, Senator,” I said finally. “We just ask that in the end, God’s grace shines upon us.” ….(Senator Byrd) studied my face for a moment, then nodded with the slightest of smiles….”God’s grace. Yes, indeed…” ”
A perfect story of forgiveness asked for and generously given. A beautiful story of a private moment. A window into Barack Obama’s heart.