Last night, a couple of friends and I had the privilege of attending an open AA meeting in support one of my very dear friends who was receiving a token in celebration of his sobriety.
The meeting was truly an extraordinary experience. Throughout many heartfelt stories and confessions, the honesty, dauntlessness, and humility that I witnessed in some of the attendants was more than impressive. How do they do it? I ponder myself, a girl constantly battling pride and often struggling to admit struggles and shortcomings of my own. And here these people are, vulnerable, yet, courageously authentic, confessing their deepest, darkest, moments and secrets in front of complete strangers. No one was there to judge, no one gave glares or felt higher than anyone else.
In moments such as these, I believe there is true healing and Love can come in to work things out.
A sweet elderly man sat to the left of me. His words of both victory and defeat were touching, and nevertheless encouraging to anyone that would listen. At the end of the meeting, he turned toward my friends and I, and kindly whispered my way, "Hello. So, you ladies must be nurses here?"
what!? no, no, NO!
The last thing I wanted last night was to appear on the "outside." Although I explained to him that we were not nurses observing the group, but were just there supporting a friend, I wanted to explain something else. I may be human just like you, but I am much more of a coward than you. I know that I can learn a lot from you. You are so brave, how do you do it?
He was a wonderful man, and they were all wonderful people, fully and deeply loved by God. Last night was proof that faith during the hardest of times and the most difficult of trials, does indeed develop perseverance, strength, and other such characteristics in a person's soul (James 1:2-4). With a heart of contrition, I deeply desire faith, genuineness, and perseverance such as many of theirs.