How great is our God who gives us peace, grace, and recovery? How large is our God?
I have always felt that God, being omnipotent, can reveal himself to different people and cultures in different ways. Our Higher Power may not look like someone else’s and in the 12 steps we speak of God as we understand God.
Like many of us, I am eternally grateful for the Twelve Steps and the various programs into which they have been incorporated. I have however, discovered over the years, that there are cultures for whom the steps do not work as well as they do for other cultures, but that there is always a spiritual path to recovery. God speaks to us all in a way we can comprehend, and it may not be in the language of the 12 steps.
As a Deacon in Recovery I am frequently the “go to” person for those who are struggling, and for those whose loved one is struggling. I must walk a fine line between guiding them spiritually and becoming a “cheerleader” for the 12 steps, although I always say that the 12 steps were my path to recovery.
We, the church, need to acknowledge, I think, that God is big enough to give healing to those who seek it, through whatever channel works best. God is big enough to meet us where we are, in a language we understand, and in the cultural context in which we live. Just how big is our God?
I remember the moment when my Higher Power and the God I knew in church merged. I was lying on a gurney about to go into surgery. My priest and my sponsor were present and the three of us held hands and said the Lord’s Prayer. That merger may not happen for everyone, in that way, but in a different way and with a different prayer.
And may we always remember that 12 step programs are not allied with any sect, (originally the word “faith” was used) denomination, politics or institution, and that includes the Church. 12 step groups that meet in the church are part of the church’s outreach, but not part of the church.
May we always be ready to spread the word of God’s loving mercy, forgiveness and healing power, and help those who are seeking a way to recovery to find the path to God that works for them.