photos by LARRY PAUL BROWN
There’s a place I go where the eagles fly high, the rivers run deep, the grass is lush. In that place it is peaceful and kind, no violence nor intolerance. Wildflowers wave in the gentle breezes as the freshness of nearby pine forests fills the air with breath after breath of luxurious serenity. I sit in the grass, admire the beauty of the flowers and marvel that truly there is a heaven on earth.
And then, when that which is called reality reins in this escape to a quiet place, I return reluctantly and sadly. But, I know that someday this kind and peaceful place will be a permanent home where I also shall soar with the eagles breathing in the freshness of eternity. Come with me, won’t you? We can go there just as we are.
Every one of us has a story to tell. It usually reflects on the brokenness of a past life which carried us to places that were more like a living hell than heaven. Sometimes it involves drug addiction or alcoholism. Often it is a story of abuse and deprivation at the hands of someone whom we trusted. Or we may return to the horrors of sex abuse and physical assault when telling our story. The common thread with each one of our stories is the final surrender of the pain and suffering to an unseen, unfamiliar power. We somehow, miraculously, discovered healing and acceptance. We recognized and embraced our inner beauty and greatness. We became willing to believe that our past lives, though never to be forgotten, should no longer be baggage to slow down our journey through sobriety. And with each passing clean and serene day we discovered a special place where eagles soar, water runs deep, and grass is green, a place where peace and kindness greet our morning sun.
Drunk and reeking of alcohol, I met my unseen, unfamiliar Higher Power in a bar room as I staggered past a man who grabbed hold of me and said, “Son, do you want to be free?” My blurred vision couldn’t really focus on the man and upon finally making my way to the door, turning around to see who had spoken to me, he was gone. I demanded of the bartender,
“Who was that man that just grabbed me by the shoulders?”
“Sir, it’s just you and me in this bar room. Nobody else has been here in the past hour.”
Do you want to be free? Free of substance addiction, free of behavior addictions, free of self-imposed hell? Lean into the Master and receive your miracle. Matters not whether we name it Higher Power, the Source, God, or Spirit, the salvation we seek will welcome us with open arms and a hearty,
“Welcome home, son. I have been waiting for you. Now, come just as you are; sit with me for a while. We have some catching up to do.”