Keepers of the Faith
Courtesy: Ash (special archives)
It snowed last night. They call it a “freak” snowstorm that came from the U.S. It was a good dusting. There are piles of snow in all the correct pile up zones, that will facilitate snow removal eventually, but not a “we need this snow gone now, because there is too much of it” kind of way. A little snow will fall again tomorrow, then freakishly it will warm up and there is actually “rain” in the forecast for Saturday.
Friday – well it is Friday in Australia, the Queen Mary 2 visited Sydney Harbor, Australia. And one of my blogger/twitter friends is visiting Sydney for his birthday, (which is Friday the 14th) I tweeted him this info so that he and his mom can go see her. I watched her sail into the harbor before sunrise (Sydney time).
The sun came out today melting low snow spots. Funny that depending on what side of the wind you were on, there is snow piled up. But in other places, there is no snow accumulation. Case in point …
I walked through the tunnel to the church as I usually do. I arrived at the church and the walkway had been cleared all the way down to the asphalt. It looked like someone had shoveled the snow before I got there.
After set up I went back outside and noticed that parts of the yard out front were free of fresh snowfall. The last remains of snow and ice that fell some time ago and turned to ice, was open to the air. Yet there was snow piled up in other areas and not uniformly across the yard.
Meaning the wind blew snow off the lawn and into piles against the church building. There was plowed snow on the street, Westmount has their own snow plows, they don’t rely on the city plows.
I settled in to wait for the guys to show up. We were a small group tonight, we were missing some folks. But the time was well spent for those who did show up.
We read from “Came to Believe,” the red book. There are two red books, one is a step work booklet, the other is larger (the Came to Believe).
Fortuitously, we read about Step 3 … “What? I don’t Know…”
Fortuitous because this week I am working on my Step Three homework, I have two weeks to finish it. Within that homework, I must memorize the Third Step Prayer … I should already know it, I know pieces of it, I just have to put those pieces together, because at some point, my sponsor and I will recite that prayer together as part of my step work.
I am working on my passport application in the coming days so I can get it into Passports Canada for my trip to Vermont in May for a weekend workshop.
When one speaks about Step Three, it is a foregone conclusion that yes, we are going to talk about God. OR a God of our understanding. For all the people in the room, on any given night, there is a concept of a power greater than ourselves.
For a long time, I knew who God was. I am alive, still, which means there is a God. Because had I not had faith, at the right time, I am sure I would have died, long ago. It was at the time that God made manifest to me in the guise of the man who saved my life.
I’ve told that story over and over.
“Coming to” a second time, things were different. I rooted in one specific hall, that we still use to this day. I’ve gone to many meetings over the last twelve years and a few months. But many folks, prefer this one particular room. (The Hall at St. Leon’s Church) Westmount.
Arriving at the hall is a grand church built in the 1900’s. There are the requisite or fortuitous 12 steps (down) into the hall. There are actually 12 steps. And you arrive at the receiving area into the main hall. Where for a good 60 plus years, there has been a meeting in that hall.
I learned about spiritual experience here. I learned about people in that room. I built theories to explain what happens to people who make that 12 step journey, day in day out, month in and month out, year in and year out.
You learn a wealth of sobriety coming to the same room over a long period of time. Hundreds if not thousands of people come through those doors in any given year. And if they keep coming back, and you keep coming back, eventually God is going to show up.
I’ve seen God.
I’ve seen Him come into a room, sit down, and learn. And at some point, as is the usual case, He makes himself known to me, I can only speak for myself. That happens when someone new comes in for the first time, and over the next days, months and years, they come to learn about that Power greater than themselves.
And eventually, they themselves have a spiritual experience.
When after days, months and years, their inner light begins to flicker, then it begins to burn. That light rises from the heart and body, into the brain and rises above. I’ve seen it happen a few times, when the light goes on in the tower and they see God themselves.
That for me is God. Right there in that specific moment.
God manifests himself.
It may be a trick of light, or I can call it miracle. I’ve seen God’s light shine in that room. I’ve always said that God prefers that room, because He visits that room on the odd occasion.
You just have to be in the moment.
You may also hear God speak at a given meeting. You never know when you sit down with something heavy on your heart, and someone speaks from their heart, and in that moment, as if on cue … God whispers.
You can be a stone cold Atheist, or Agnostic, or someone who just doesn’t know who or what God is. Eventually, the spirit moves, and from every walk of life and way of life, a Power Greater than ourselves becomes known. You may not or you may never call it God.
So let’s call it Spirit. Let’s call it the people.
Let’s call it a Group of Drunks.
Whatever you call it, make it your own. In your own time, in your own way. It is a blessing to have my friends around me on any given night. They have made me who I am today.
And for that I am grateful.
Spring is just days away now. Let us hope for an end to this long suffering Winter.
More to come, stay tuned …