But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.
The topic of tonight’s meeting was Trust, a timely subject for me. I have been working with a young lady who is incarcerated in our county detention center and will be taken to prison this weekend. She, like I was when I came to AA, is an atheist. She does have a desire to seek a higher power. I have given her the same consideration that my first sponsor gave me: list all of the qualities you would want in a friend. She talked about the friends she had while she practiced her obsession and how they were only loyal to her when she had what they wanted. She said that trust and unconditional love were among the qualities she desired in a friend. I told her to flesh out the list, to make it complete and then to let this friend be her higher power. I shared my experience: when I came into the program I was afraid that I would not be able to find my way because I was unable to connect to a God of my understanding. This “friend” exercise helped me to “cross the bridge of reason toward the desired shore of faith.”
I cannot imagine going to prison without the loving and powerful hand of a higher power. I spent 30 days in a Maricopa County jail cell, my human rights violated in a variety of ways. I could not have emerged as whole as I did without a God of my perception. I will not abandon this young woman. She will be an 8 hour round trip from me; I have many podcasts to catch up on. My letter writing skills are getting rusty. I haven’t yet had the experience of guiding a woman through the steps while separated by prison walls. I will grow from this and be able to share the experience with others. Above all, this will be another step in allowing God to place my self will in its proper place (action.) Trust. In Him. In the work. In the process. In one alcoholic working with another. It works, it really does.