Two celebrations on the same day and for some, maybe not “rah! - rah!” types as they are for many of us.
Easter week is a time of rebirths, new starts, acceptance of His Grace, freely given. We pay nothing for it and His Grace flows over us like water over a cliff. It provides us with the courage to seek to do the things we should as well and the courage to ignore the things we shouldn’t do. We learn from our mistakes in life and seek strength to continue.
This year on Good Friday members of our Parish walked through the downtown commercial center of our city … it’s a well-worn center formerly inhabited by girly bars and “clubs”, saloons, gun stores and other familiar debris. The look of the commercial center has slowly made progress accompanied by the usual barriers to downtown renewal which always seem to eat into the rate and quality of urban renewal. But 18 years ago, I’m not certain we would have entertained such a “walk-through”.
It was a bright afternoon, a crisp chill in the air fortunately moderated by a bright sun and clear blue skies. We were greeted by well-wishers some I expect remembering their child-hood days of participation in church Easter activities.
We shared carrying a wooden cross as we walked and stopped at each block to read the Steps of Christ as he headed to his tortuous doom. Unlike Him, the cross we carried was light, easily carried, and stop to stop, with just enough weight to bring His struggles to mind.
But wait! … an anniversary? Yes, indeedy!
I began the process of “surrender” 18 years ago Easter Sunday. The specific date escapes me but it was just about that time so I “picked” Easter Sunday as my date of sobriety.
Seemed appropriate. The Good Friday walk especially fit my surrender process completely. My life was a wreckage, filled with events and feelings I’d just as soon forget. They always come back to me about this time … they reinforce my decision to surrender all and to step into a new life the resurrected life if you will of the Program itself. It provides answers and ways to clean up that old mess from my side of the street. It gave me ways to become closer to my Higher Power and to seek His will for us and the power to carry it out. It told me that one of my steps in the Program was to reach out to aid the still suffering alcoholic and addict.
His Grace provided a way out from the turmoil and pain and self-centeredness of those past days.
As the old song says, “t’was the Grace that saved me” and all I had to do was to reach out and accept it.
Easter morn … a surrender and a beginning … miracles both? … You bet your bottom dollar!