Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 6, 2015
Day #15 – Share a Verse? Sometimes. Today? Yes.
Sharing a Scripture verse in conversation? Yes, when appropriate. When it comes to mind. It doesn’t always, but today it did. The verse was quite appropriate. But, you be the judge of that.
Every few weeks, I volunteer at a hospital inpatient unit. I have a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, and I go to a drug and alcohol rehab unit to facilitate an hour on spirituality. This is one of the most rewarding things I can do. I get such encouragement out of giving people some hope and light and letting them know that there is a solution. Giving and serving, getting out of myself is truly a rewarding thing to do. On a regular basis.
These people are very early in recovery. Only a few days, in some cases. Perhaps a week or maybe ten days. I see it as my job to give them some hope, some tools, some explanation of something outside of themselves that can help them to stay clean and sober, one day at a time.
The rehab unit relies strongly on the 12 Step model of recovery. Not completely, but it is a major part of this unit’s philosophy. Accordingly, I base my facilitation on Steps 2 and 3, talking about the help of a Higher Power, and about God as each individual understands God. I try to give each person help and assistance at understanding this Higher Power. We were going around the room. I asked each person to give me a describing word that tells me about the Higher Power or God that helps each one, personally, to stay clean and sober one day at a time.
I’ve done this many times before. Everyone in the room knew that I am a pastor, and have worked as a chaplain in a hospital for most of the past ten years. So, I would transition in and out of “God talk.” When a person said they understood God in a Christian sense, I would switch and speak of God that way. However, some people in the group had difficulty approaching that idea. So, I would affirm them in their belief—of the Group of Drunks or Good Orderly Direction, or whatever their understanding led them towards.
As in the past, I received some excellent adjectives or attributes of God/Higher Power. Loving, believing, caring, helping. And several other marvelous words. About three quarters of the way around the circle, someone said “forgiving.” I made certain this patient was speaking of God in a Christian sense, and the patient and I exchanged a sentence or two about the awesomeness of God’s forgiveness of our sins. And then, it bubbled up out of me. One of my favorite Bible verses from Psalm 103. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our transgressions/sins from us.” It just popped out of my mouth. Boom.
I acknowledge that not everyone in the room was/is completely comfortable with “quoting Scripture verses.” Yes. However, I had been with the group for about 45 minutes. I believe I had some credibility with them by this time, and shown myself to be understanding and encouraging. Not divisive, rigid or negative about their individual beliefs. I think this was by far an excellent way for me to share some of my experience, strength and hope with them. And, I hope my suggestions help them to stay clean and sober, one day at a time. Today. Again, with God/HP’s help, there is a solution.
God, I pray for all the good people I saw at the inpatient unit today. Please, help them in their difficulties. Encourage and support each one as they show each other caring, support and love. And help all the people in recovery I know to stay clean and sober, one day at a time. Amen.
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