From Office 88
I once had a man in my group who was from far West Texas. He drove a tractor to work and talked of coming in from the cold and sitting beside the “farplace” instead of “fireplace” as most people would say.
Another patient came from New Jersey. He wrote software for big business, took a taxi to work and had never owned a car.
Their Spiritual upbringing was as different as day and night.
I had major anxiety worrying about these two men and if they could possibly get anything out of being in the same group. I completely missed seeing the “beauty of the forest.” In less than a week these two men were sharing their experience, strength and hope with each other and the community.
Rowland Hazard was a businessman from Vermont and was told he was an alcoholic of the “hopeless variety”. After finding God, he carried the message of hope and spiritual principles to Ebby Thatcher. It changed his life. Ebby, in turn, inspired Bill Wilson, who was never a member of any church. In Bill’s zeal to carry the message he was put in contact with the second AA, Dr Robert Smith. Dr. Bob was a doctor with roots in New England and grew up with the Bible, Sunday school, and Christian studies. The “man on the bed” that Bill and Bob considered AA # 3 was a lawyer from the Midwest. He was desperate to do whatever was recommended.
From this first handful of AA men that were as different as the two guys in my group, we see one of the first principles of the program played out over and over. It is so simple. I myself often miss it. It is to “Trust God” and “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”.
Whether it be in the Bodega, the Gym, or in one of the offices on Therapy Row, La Hacienda is fertile ground for the Spiritual healing that comes from these principles. I have been privileged to see many people receive the healing that God offers to the likes of us and to those that may have given up.
At this writing, we are loading up the old van with towels, blankets and people. We are headed for the river to see a couple of guys take step 3 to the next level by doing the Rite of Baptism on the Guadalupe River.
Thank you La Hacienda for letting God be present in this place.