I have been thinking about my long trip to Texas for the International Convention of AA. The months of planning. The miles and miles of driving. The hotels. The meetings. The things I thought would be wonderful - and they were. The doing sober things with my sober daughter. Meeting up with sober people. I actually saw a man I knew from Sedro Woolley, WA walking across a large room - I ran across the room and was amazed that I recognized him after not seeing him for 18(?) years. Running into people that I knew from way back and finding out that they are current people in my daughter's life - now that is a good feeling. I got to take a boat ride with Dave. I got to have dinner with Pammie. I got to have the experience I have always wanted - the 50,000 people saying the Lord's Prayer together. That was powerful.
But my truly life-changing spiritual experience happened on the way home in a ladies room in a grocery store not 30 miles from here. Now isn't that ironic? The powerful lesson of that meeting has not left me. I still pray for that little girl and her mother every day. But I have realized the power of my words. The power I have to help or hurt - even when I have no idea that it matters at all. I had no idea that day that a little girl who had just lost her mother was listening to what I was saying to my daughter in a bathroom! I could have been bitching about traffic. By the grace of God, I caught myself and didn't do that. We never know who is listening. I want it to be worth listening to. I want to be an instrument of God's peace, not a burden to those I encounter.
I talked to my daughter the other day and told her that the experience had changed my life. She said it had changed hers too. But, as can be expected, the way she processed the experience is totally different than the way I processed it. She is looking at it more as it effects relationships - mothers and daughters. She and me. She and her daughters. That is what she needs to look at I am sure. Just as I am sure I need to see what I need to see.
It is always amazing to me how God speaks to me, to us.
I am grateful.