On the Firing Line by Peter Marinelli

On the Firing Line by Peter Marinelli

What an honor to be able to serve on a “12 step call”. Getting a drunk and taking them to a detox or treatment center. Getting a drunk and taking them to an AA meeting (while they are drunk) and nursing them back to health.
It a lost art with many. I sat with a gentleman who was sober about 9 years and informed me he never went on a 12 step call. He couldn’t see the honor and privilege to serve on that level. It’s only until one does serve in that capacity that one can see the honor and privilege in it.
Some folks in recovery can’t fathom the idea that they can have the ability (if spiritually fit) to be able to get rid of all drugs alcohol and paraphernalia as well and go away complete unharmed. They we are given a tremendous amount of Power to do this work-God’s work. He is the principal and we are truly His agents.
My first call came when I was newly sober back in Brooklyn, NY.
I had a friend (sober many years) call me and tell me “we have one; I’ll pick you up shortly”. I was nervous and wasn’t quite sure what to do. I called my sponsor who told me to follow the directions in the Big Book and go with God with God and assured me I’d be ok doing God’s work. We picked up the drunk who was in serious trouble. During the 45 minute ride to the hospital, he laughed, cried, was sullen and then soiled his clothes.
Again I was frightened by the whole thing while the old-timer was very matter a fact about it all. He was an old war horse and had many years sober. We dropped the drunk off at the hospital and the old timer told me “good work kid”. The next morning I went to work and the drunk I dropped off at the hospital the day before was on the street corner panhandling. I thought I failed. I felt awful. I again called my sponsor, and informed him of the new events. He asked me the following questions. Did you take him to the hospital? Were you willing to help him when he completed his stay? Did you stay sober? Yes to all three. He then told me “good work kid”.
What a joy to see of these sick and suffering drunks get well. To see their gratitude to the messengers God sent that day.
I’ve been on many over the years. Cleaning them up, making lots of coffee, counseling the families, getting them to their first AA meeting.
Interesting to witness the change from when you go into the active drunk’s home and the home feels and looks like its sick and suffering. You can feel the tension in the air and how family members talk at each other and wellness and love has been replaced by fear and anger.
Yet when that drunk gets recovered and brings the message home and when you revisit the home, it looks and feels like a God house. “The ages of miracles are still with us”.
AA is a “sacred place” and its members, men and women are spiritual warriors, who would go to any lengths help a drink at a moment’s notice. Help a drunk they don’t even know, but in the world of the spirit and AA they sort of do know them. We commence shoulder to shoulder along this spiritual path. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chop wood, carry water
Peter Marinelli

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