was my first sponsor. He attracted me by his humor, honesty, insight, fury, faith. He took me through the steps and I had a spiritual awakening in Step 5. I am forever in his debt. Thank you God for Richard.
Lisa T. was my second sponsor. Joe H. gave me her number when we came to the 4th Step in the Big Book workshop he led. I stayed with her for over 20 years when we did go our separate ways.
She attracted me by her truthfulness, her support, and the way she kept it very very simple. "Pray and follow intuitive thought." "Ask God to remove the fear and direct my attention to who he would have me be."
We later went through the steps again.
was also my sponsor from 1993 to her death in 2017. She attracted me by her faith, her honesty about her current experience, her gentleness, her directness, her dedication to the Pathfinders.
has been my sponsor now since Alma died. She attracted me by her insight, her honesty, her loving ways, and her understanding of Alcoholics Anonymous.
has officially been my sponsor since 2008 and drew me in many years before by his shares and I heard him share before I knew his name.
He said things that resonated deeply for me, that lead me to Truth, Light, and deeper into the Way.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household." (Matthew 10:34-35)
"Who by thinking can add an inch to his height?"
He told stories that I have depth and weight for me, that I understood, verified my experience within the 12-Step "design for living," and have penetrated deeper and taken on new meaning as I have grown older.
For example the following stories are PERFECT! Only God could do something perfect.
The Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Great Banquet
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
The Parable of the Tenants
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
The Parable of the Ten Minas
The Parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Prodigal Son
He made me laugh out loud.
But to really commit to his sponsorship, I had to set aside what I thought I knew about him and read what he said about himself.
By doing that, I came to believe that Jesus is who he said he is -
not necessarily who the church says he is.
(How that happened is a good but long story that I won't tell right now.)
I believe he did the things described in the Bible, for the most part.
Jesus NEVER said to worship him.
He DID say:
"Worship the FATHER in Spirit and in Truth."
"OUR Father, who art in heaven."
He did not say "my Father."
Jesus tells us that we are all sons and daughters of the Living God.
Furthermore, he DID say:
Follow me. (Matthew 4:19) (John 21:19) - work the steps, especially Step 11.
Pay attention. (Mark 4:24) - especially Steps 10 and 11.
You are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13) - people actively in 10-12 keep the world awake to truth.
Keep my words. (John 14:23) - do it, don't try to do it or think about doing it; take the action of prayer and meditation.
I will not leave you as orphans. (John 14:18) - we have a new family of brothers and sisters in the fellowship of the spirit.
Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19) - yes, it's eternal; step 11 is about staying alive in the Spirit
The Spirit of truth is known by you, dwells with you, and is in you. (John 14:23) - accessed in Step 11 through prayer and meditation.
Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will open. (Matthew 7:7) - that IS Step 11.
His identity, witness, and forgiveness invites me to assume my true identity, claim my story, and know I am forgiven.
Jesus is my brother, my friend, my teacher, my mentor, my sponsor, but not my God.
God assigned him the role of revealing the truth to us.
He walked in God's Power and Love on the earth.
He was lynched by people just like me, by our obstinacy, the need to maintain the status quo in the face of a truth that refutes it, by the religious and secular authorities (the right and the left).
He forgave us for his lynching.
He asked for our forgiveness from the Father;
on behalf of the father, he forgives us for our murder of one another, of ourselves, of our planet.
With that forgiveness, he asks to "sin no more."
He came back to life to make real to us our eternal life and identity as God's children.
He showed us that earthly authorities have no power over eternal life.
He showed us deeper magic.
I believe God gave us AA to help people uncover, discover, and discard what we think we know about God.
Religion has really truly made a terrible mess.
God's is making lemonade out of lemons: booze, drugs, bulimia, all addictions point to God.
He is setting us free from religion just as he did so many years ago and
restoring us to our true identities as God's kids, one family, one Love!