Monday, November 5, 2007

Why the hands

The imagery I use when praying or thinking of God is a pair of hands cupped together. I believe it's an image that God gave to me.

When I had been at a treatment centre for about 3 or 4 weeks, a member of Canada's armed forces asked me when was the last time I had prayed. I looked at this guy, a drunk just like me, and wondered where he was coming from. "Been a long time since I prayed", I told him, "prayer doesn't work. A waste of time". That didn't stop him. He suggest that when I go to bed that night I pray before I fall asleep. And when I prayed, to make sure I didn't ask for anything.

Well, that baffled me. Many times over the years I asked God to take away my alcoholism, my addictions. He never heard, I keep on struggling. I gave up. There was no magic wand, no sprinkling of fairy dust. How on earth would I pray? What would be the point.

So, that night, I went to bed, thinking about what this guy said. As I lay in bed, I said to no one in particular that here I was and I wasn't going to ask for anything. Then, in my imagination, I was shown a pair of hands cupped together. For some reason, I thought these hands were full of compassion and love. A place of shelter and care. I placed myself into those hands and promptly fell asleep. The next morning my attitude changed. I started to co-operate with treatment instead of being fearful, untrusting. Drink and my other addictive behaviours have no longer plagued me. The obsession was lifted. For the first time in a long long time I felt hope.

When the topic at an AA meeting is on the first three steps, the gratitude I feel is overwhelming. God did for me, what I could never do for myself. All I had to do was give up, surrender, put my trust completely in God.

Whenever I pray, I see God's hands. My sponsor advised that when I pray for others, I just place them in God's hands and ask God to bring them to a place of surrender. I also pray that I would stay out of the way, the fear and worry won't bring me to that place where I want control. (God and I are still working on that one.)

My life is so much better because of that one night, praying. I'm close to 20 months since entering the treatment center. Each day on this journey is a day where I'm closer to that place where God wants me to be.

Here is a link to the original photograph and a poem which describes my experience.

Thank you for letting me share. Thank you, God, for what you have done.


YamadogGirl said...

I really loved your comment. A fellow women AA member, that is very dear to me, gave me that same imagery of God's hands cupped. So whoever I was praying for, I can see them safely in His hands.

I've only been sober 5 yrs., but everyday I learn something new about AA, life & myself. I find that I work the 1st three steps on a daily basis in my life, because there are tons of things that I am powerless over, and they make my life unmanageable. So I CAME TO BELIEVE, that a power greater than me could restore my sanity (because I was insane). When I turn my life over to God's will, not mine, I can see and accomplish His will for me. Obviously, I don't do this very well all the time (I like to sit in my stink once in a brief while), but I do try to do my best.

P.S. Thank you for your comment earlier, your motives seemed in the right place. Without even realizing it, you made this drunk refocus. That's one of the miracles of God. He keeps putting people, places & things in our path to redirect our attention where it needs to be.

indistinct said...

Thank you, yamadoggirl, for your comments. I'm discovering more and more that the AA program is about finding our way to God. One day at a time, and we do it together, each in our own way.

MICKY said...

indistinct said...
I feel a whole bunch humbled, trying to give you advice in a previous post, not knowing your story. I apologize. Thank you for sharing your story. It tells me that I have much to learn about relying on God.

Micky Said:
I Cor. 6:9-11:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate,
nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor DRUNKARDS, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

The word ALCOHOLIC is not in the Bible. There is no mention of the 12 Steps or that ALCOHOLISM, is a DISEASE - in the BIBLE. One is either a DRUNKARD or was a DRUNKARD - end of story. Bill Wilson manufactured the Big Book & 12 Steps out of his head, and millions of people have been "hoodwinked" by his anti - Christ propaganda. Labelling oneself, as an ALCOHOLIC is the MARK OF THE BEAST - one has condemned oneself to the fiery furnace. In HELL, there is no chance of REDEMPTION.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I'm woefully behind on my blog visiting, so I apologize that it took me so long to get here -- and that Micky got here before me.

When I am feeling particularly sad and helpless, I too have the image of being held and resting on the palm of God -- even though I would say I don't believe in God... It's very comforting and always allows me to relax and breathe.

Cat said...

it is good imagery that is for sure!