As I sit in the AA meeting this Saturday morning at 9 I think of the reaction of so many people to the violence in Dallas, Louisiana, Minnesota, 5 policemen (now 8), 2 black men killed. People talk about returning violence for violence, questioning how could there be a loving God who would allow this to happen, no longer believing in God.
I know violence can never overcome violence. For those who question the presence of God, I want to drag them to this AA meeting. This is where the God of my understanding lives. This is a room full of people who had stinking thinking not dissimilar to the thinking of those who killed others this week. Somehow the people I see coming into this meeting have changed, and they now represent a room full of miracles, people trying to lead a different life, knowing that there is a God who saved them and trying to make a difference in the world because they were rescued.
The meeting is on the second step, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Two people, a balding man and a young attractive woman pick up 24 hour chips. Rarely seen. No birthdays.
One middle aged attractive woman with many years in AA talks about how her sponsor first asks her about her higher power. Hers is a vengeful God keeping records of all her many wrong doings. Her sponsor looks her in the eye and tells her, “I want to loan you my God for 2 weeks. My God likes to be read to, likes to hear these meditations each morning. My God likes to hear the Serenity Prayer and the Prayer of St. Francis each evening before you go to bed. My God likes to talk to you like you talked to him as a child, on your knees by your bed.” Just these simple things change her life and she then says in passing, “I get into trouble when I am in a hurry and only say these prayers on one knee as I go out the door.”
The group talks a great deal about sanity. One woman speaks out, “ When I went to treatment and heard the second step, I kept saying, ‘I am not insane!”’ Her counselor finally asks her, “ Does it help for you to think about where you are?” She bows her head and says, “I think I am in a psychiatric hospital.” Many talk about realizing they are insane when they hear the definition. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expected a different result. Yes, we are insane, but by some miracle we are being restored to sanity, trying to find a new result following a new way of life.
I am so grateful I am in this place today.