RICK: A TRUE STORY
Sunday morning I was having a mental slip. The pot of pity is not pretty, even when I am alone. Thank God it is an infrequent visitor. About noon I announced to PG that I 'felt' a strong sense, like a push--telling me to go to a 5:30 PM meeting, not one of my 'regulars'.
There was no particular reason for me to go there, I had been already to two morning meetings, and mass. However, it was a 'burning desire' which would force us to eat late dinner, and would delay and shorten my time in the blog world.
The meeting was OK, nothing spectacular, peeps staying sober, and a few 'getting' sober 'again'. The meeting ended, and I figured if God wanted me to be there, He sure wasn't about to show me the reason why! But you know, it is very seldom God does allow us to 'see' His Planning.
Coming out of the meeting, a voice called out to me, "Steve...are you the Steve who was once married to Nancy?" Well, yes. "And is your last name E*****?" Well, yes. "Don't you remember me?" Well, no. "I am Rick S!" At that moment gushed into my brain a flood of memories, dating back to several years before I sobered up.
BACK IN TIME
Sometime in the year 1971, a very young handsome body-builder boy and lovely, young, pretty girl rode on a really bad set of bicycles, from Miami to Naples. The two had escaped from behind the Iron Curtain, worked their way on boats across the ocean, through South America and finally to the Port of Miami, where they were accepted as refugees.
Their English consisted of "Hello...do you have money?" They took refuge in St Ann Church, where they were awakened the next morning by a sacristan. Fortunately for the couple church doors then were never locked.
They somehow found themselves in the home of an 87-year-young parishioner with the odd name of Mary C (true!). Mary C was a special friend of ours, so we got to know and befriend the young couple. In fact, we were Godparents for their children, so I'm pretty sure we were friends.
I do remember Rick's wife left him VERY suddenly. Riding her bicycle along a busy highway, she was hit in the back of her head, by the outside mirror of a pickup truck. She died instantly, leaving Rick with two babies, two bikes, (one unusable), two friends (one mostly drunk) and very little else.
My brief lapses into the community of the living during those years were broken several times each day by backward slips into hours of oblivion--or else memory would extend this blog far beyond its confines.
It had been nearly forty years since we had last met. Rick is now sober four years! He lives about an hour north of Naples, never, absolutely NEVER drives down to Naples for meetings.
Get this: He happened to be driving on his way back to Ft Myers when he realized he'd probably miss his DAILY 5:30 PM meeting there. So, as he was passing by, the thought came to him, "I wonder if they have a 5:30 PM meeting at the 24-Hr Club in Naples?" So, on a simple inspiration, he pulled into the parking lot and attended the same meeting I did (there are three meetings at the same time, different rooms). We each, unknowingly, had chosen the same room.
And, for a simple "burning desire" (inspiration) I attended the same meeting HE did.
We had a lot to talk about...mostly we laughed, about old times--of course, my blog-friends may find it difficult to picture me laughing. -grin! It was one of those meetings-after-the-meeting, and we felt blest by God.
Even with that inner desire, I almost did not obey God's Will. PG had just returned home from her out-of-town retreat, and "wanted to talk..." and I only could say to her something like, "God wants me to go to an afternoon meeting. Sorry I must leave, we'll have to talk later, and dinner will be late also".
I Can only believe that here is the lesson:
When God taps me on the shoulder, I must be ready to go, even at the inconvenience of me or others. The way I know that it is God tapping, is that God does not stop. Only MY PRIDE can sever this connection. He keeps the conscience-bothering tapping going until He sees some cooperation. God does not Let Up.
Rick and I plan to meet again, probably within a week. Thank you all for reading my "Story With a Lesson Today!" (Brought to you by God--without Cheerios!)
In LOVE and Service,