“No matter how twisted the attempt or tragic the behaviour, we are all trying the best we can to get down the road that leads to the home we may never have had. Addictions are a substitute for the real thing. Recovery is finding and moving deeper into that real thing. An old AA saying, ‘Every alcoholic hopes to find God at the bottom of the bottle,’ says it about as well as words can tell the story.”
~ Earnie Larsen
I had spent 25 years looking for God at the bottom of a bottle. This was my way of trying to come home, to feel the warmth, love and acceptance that I was longing for. To put an end to the physical and mental pain and torture that I was feeling every day. “Please God” I would cry out “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” I drank to put an end to the unbearable guilt, shame, resentment and constant fear that was with me every minute of every day.
Christmas for me was always a two-week spree, a way of forgetting what I really wanted. I wanted to come home, but I didn’t know what home I was looking for. November 4th, 2011, I walked into the Discipleship house at Jericho Road. My first sober Christmas was spent at Carl and Colleen Ruby’s. I could not feel more at home than I did that night. Their unconditional love for the men of Jericho who had no place to go or belong to at this time of year touched me deeply. It would become the first of many meals that we would spend together. I will never forget any of them.
The home that Ernie is talking about, the home we may never have had, the home we are searching for in the bottom of that bottle, at the end of that needle or in the handfuls of pills we swallow is found in Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the many people in my recovery who are the hands and feet of Christ. The people who put his love into action so that I may get a glimpse of God’s love for me through their acts of kindness. I know what it meant to me that Christmas day in 2011 and I deeply wish that for others this Christmas.
As we go about our holiday season this year, remember that some of us don’t have a home to go to. We are still searching for the “real thing”. I pray that we recognize the opportunities that God gives us to be the hands and feet of Jesus and we act upon them. It may be uncomfortable at times but that probably means we’re doing the right thing.
May your Christmas be one of rest, peace and “home” with family and friends. God Bless us all…