God Delivers by Peter Marinelli
Very early in sobriety I was moved to return to my religious community, not for the sake of attending mass (which would come to me later on) but to go there and light two candles. One was for the sick and suffering alcoholic in and out of the “rooms” and the other was for my mom.
You see when I was about 14 years old, my mom who suffered from alcoholism and pill addiction took her life after several prior attempts. The pain and suffering of that life as many of us know, is too much, and dying seems like the only way out. To tell you I was leveled by this event and never would be the same would be putting it mildly. But there I was. My design for living taken from me and I became even more consumed with insecurities, shame, guilt and remorse.
I also never got to say goodbye to her, something that would haunt me for years. As the progression of alcoholism became worse, so did my disdain for life and God. My frustration rose as I would wonder where did she go to. Why did this happen? I was told as a child Heaven is where we all go but at this stage of my life that wasn’t good enough.
I remember one night sitting on the edge of a bed in a filthy apartment, blind drunk and rambling on and on to God. With some choice words I ordered Him to make my mom appear so I can give her a hug. I remember crying out, I never got to hug her, and you owe me at least that!
I went on to rambling and crying and tried to bargain with God. If you make her appear and give me a hug I will stop this drinking madness, was my offer. Well that obviously didn’t happen-then. It did happen years later.
So as I stated earlier I’m off to a church to light two candles.
As I began the process of the 12 steps I also began the sacred process of pray and meditation. About nine years into sobriety I (I’m now meditating daily twice a day) I stated off my morning with pray and into meditation. During this mediation I found myself sitting on a beach. I love being by the beach and God knew this. I love being by the water and God knew this. I love the warm summer weather and God knew this. God can read our heart and hear our soul.
As I sat on this beach, I looked out on the horizon. And that thin line where the water meets the sky something happened that would change me forever. My God appeared and began His to walk towards me. As He got closer out of His chest appeared my mom. They approached me and my mom knelt down to me. At this point I became an eight year old boy. A time in my life when uncertainly was at its worst.
God knew this. My mom knelt down and hugged me only as a mom could hold any of us. I stood up and was an adult, and my mom hugged me again, this time as a young man. She was weeping while this was happening, but they were tears of joy and not sorrow. My God stood next to me and put his arm around me and looked me in the eyes. I have never felt so much love and peace in my life as I did in this moment. He told me she is o.k., she is with me. No words were spoken during this, but this was the message that was brought to me. My mom then pointed off to the left, and on the horizon were hundreds and hundreds of lights flickering (like a big city skyline at night).
And then she pointed of to the right, and on the horizon were hundreds and hundreds of lights flickering. My mom held onto me once more and her and my God walked away and became one, and I came out of this mediation. I was exhausted, fulfilled, weeping and confused. “What were those lights?” I asked myself.
I immediately called my sponsor and told him what just happed. I explained my confusion about the lights. He said to me, “Peter haven’t you been lighting candles for your mom for about eight or nine years now”? I said “yes”. He replied. She let you know she got them”.
I began to weep. I finally began to reconcile years of uncertainly. My life changed forever. My God knows me. Knowing, that I am known, by my Creator, what a gift!
God hears my soul, hears my heart, and when the ground was fertile he did the growing.
This all happed in the sacred process of the 12 steps, the practice of mediation, and enlightened sponsor.
And it was all orchestrated by a Loving God.
As I once read, Instead of telling God how big my problems are, I tell my problems how big my God is.
Chop wood, carry water