Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday

There's my first tulip bud of the year. I think it is going to be a red tulip. I planted tulips when I first moved into this house nearly nine years ago now. I had no experience with planting things and I planted some tulips where tulips don't really belong - such as above. They are not in the flower bed, they are in the grass. I later realized that I liked my tulips in big clumps of monochromatic pinks or whites... not red, yellow, and orange mixes such as I planted in my first weeks of home ownership. I have thought I would dig them up and move them, but somehow as the season moves on, after the flowers die and I mow down the leaves, I never think of them again. For me this morning, they are a great reminder of how momentous it was have a piece of dirt of my own, where I can plant tulips in the fall and feel reasonably sure I will see them come up in the spring. This is the ninth year I have witnessed their faithful arrival.

It is Good Friday. I am fasting today. I do not have the television on today. Thankfully, this is a furlough day (mandatory day off without pay). I normally take a day of vacation on Good Friday because it is such a momentous day in the calendar of Christianity. My prayer and meditation today were exquisitely beautiful.

I have several tasks to do today, I will do them in silence. Later I will go to church for a service at 3 p.m. Likely I will go to a meeting after that and meet some friends.

I know that for many of you, you don't want to hear a word about anything that is remotely similar to "religion," and that is fine. For my early years in sobriety, I embraced the "spiritual not religious" tag. It worked for me, but after a time, I felt a tug, and then a not so subtle pull back to the church of my youth. The Last Place On Earth I Wanted To Go. I am not kidding you. But I am oh so grateful for the sponsor who told me that was where I belonged and where I needed to go. It was a revelation to me to find that most of the stuff I thought I had heard there was made up by me during the 25 years when I was away. It was viewed through the self-centered lens of alcoholism.

God has abundantly blessed me with sponsors and other mentors in recovery who have helped me with this journey. It has been one of the most important of my life. And I am infinitely grateful for it.

The ONLY time I have ever said I was grateful to be an alcoholic was when I went back to the sacraments with a humble and contrite heart. I am not sure that would have been possible without the crucible that was my disease. A sensible alcoholic will always and forever be humble - if they have full knowledge of their condition.

I am so grateful for the journey that has been my sobriety. And to think I thought I thought coming to AA and throwing myself at your mercy meant my life was over! I had no idea that I would later consider the drinking years to be virtually wasted years - and the sober ones to be the ones I remember and cherish.

It is here in AA that I was loved and learned to love in return. It is here in AA that I learned to love someone as they puked and hurled and heaved. I learned how to listen attentively to jibberish. I learned how to hold the shaky hand of a terrified drunk, and gather my own strength from that.

There is no way I can express my gratitude. So I guess I will just try to put it into action - for another day. Sober. The Grace of God is the most amazing thing.

10 comments:

Ed G. said...

Amazing indeed. I remain a huge fan of grace.

Blessings and aloha...

dAAve said...

I hope you have a REALLY GOOD Friday!!

drybottomgirl said...

Thank you for your beautiful post today. It's wonderful to have gratitude, and a friend once told me that God waits patiently for you to return to him, and then there are times when he comes and gets you! I am so thankful he came and got me. Have a blessed weekend!

Julianne said...

I often feel the tug (a yearning, if you will) back to the Church of my youth. The recent occasions I have (secretively) slipped into mass have brought me comfort. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Andrew said...

I have also returned to the Church. The Way of the Cross was a very moving moment for me earlier today.

Happy Easter Mary Christine.

marie said...

I, too, returned to church after being sober several years. I saw Mass and the sacraments in a totally different way after working the steps of AA. I was amazed at the similiarities I saw between AA's Steps and some of the sacraments. And by gosh, if those homilies didn't start making so much sense when I listened with sober ears!!! Many blessings,
Marie

Pam said...

thinking of you today!
I accidentally posted on your "yesterday" blog post.

Anonymous said...

Like my friend Andrew, I have returned to the church. And my GOOD FRIDAY was similar to yours, including the meeting after. I do not remember EVER having such a spiritual happening to me as one on this day.

Mary LA said...

This sounds like such a peaceful and reflective day. Thank you, Mary Christine.

Syd said...

Life sounds beautiful for you today. Enjoy all that the day offers.