Ministers Musings …………………………………………. On Recovery
I want to share a story with you. It is a story from my life. It’s an old story now, but it still lurks in my memory and surfaces every now and then. All of us have these stories and most of us need to share them at some point in our lives, just so we can heal from the pain of the story.
Mine goes back to the days of my childhood and my youth, living in Regina, Saskatchewan. I was a pretty ordinary kid in so many ways, but I knew a lot more about life than a lot of the kids I went to school with. I, for example, knew about “bootlegging” at a very early age. That was when the guy driving a Johnnie’s Taxi would pull up to my house on a Sunday afternoon and pass over to my father a 40 ounce of whiskey and a couple of dozen beer. For a small fortune of course. My Dad needed Johnnie and his taxi because he was an alcoholic and couldn’t comprehend a day going by without alcohol in his system. “Johnnie” met a real need in the community because more people than just my father needed his services. He, in fact, did a booming business.
The other part of my story that needs to be told is that my Dad was not a falling down drunk, he was a violent and mean drunk. And my mother took most of his drunken rages on her chin.
Now the problem with this alcohol thing was that everyone tried to pretend it wasn’t as bad as it actually was. People tried to pretend that every family in the 50’s lived a life like the one portrayed on television, a “Leave It To Beaver” kind of life, where the Dad went off to work every day and the Mom stayed at home to bake cookies. I used to watch that television program and laughed at it a lot (when I wasn’t crying) because it was so corny and unreal.
Why have I chosen to tell you this story? Because even though it is now very old for me, it is a lived reality for thousands of people living in the City of Calgary today. And now we can even add fentanyl to the story – a street drug which we didn’t have floating around on the streets of Regina when I was growing up.
The other reason I chose to tell you this story is that I want to remind you of something very important. Every Sunday evening, at exactly 6:00 pm, Central United Church creates a space for miracles to happen – the miracle of recovery. Every week, dozens and dozens of the addicted stream through our doors, looking for hope, looking for life, looking to reclaim their lives and live without the chaos of their addiction. It’s called the Celebrate Life Recovery service.
I invite you to attend – often – and you will experience a miracle every time. My Dad missed that miracle. He never recovered his life.