#Recovery #Prayer #AA
When someone in the midst of a crisis starts asking me questions such as “Why did this happen? What does this mean?” I know that we are about to have a conversation about God. Whether that God resides in a traditional religious institution, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or a meditative search for happiness, spiritual engagement matters.
A rich spiritual life feeds our capacity to weather change, including unwelcomed health changes. It uplifts our ability to find satisfaction in ordinary, everyday experiences. For example, I once observed a moving event that demonstrated spiritual energy at work. It happened at an AA meeting in a homeless shelter.
The meeting began with a small circle of homeless men listening as the counselor described their assignment for the coming week. He asked each of them to write a prayer. Everyone agreed, except one man who simply shook his head and stared at the floor. For the next three meetings, he remained silent, while others shared their prayers.
Finally, at week four, the counselor again asked the man if he’d brought his prayer. “Yes,” he replied without any fanfare. He then pulled a crumbled bit of paper from his pocket and offered a six-word entreaty: “Whoever made me keep me safe.”
The core of this petition said much about the man who prayed it. He dared to trust, even for a moment, that life might offer some kind of vital energy beyond his understanding. It also speaks to anyone searching for healing and connection with a source of strength beyond one’s self. Some would call this a spiritual event. Others might say it was an awakening. Whatever one chooses to call this moment, it produced an energy that began to guide this fellow toward recovery. That same gift is available to all of us.