[T]he thought crossed my mind a few days ago that maybe I should write again this Christmas.  Last Christmas 2011, I wrote of “Big – Big”.  I was joyful in what I had experienced last Christmas and I desired to share it.  Fairly pleased I would say, was the self-determined verdict in how I felt I had communicated my joy.   I realized, during these same recent days past that there would be no future in forcing the writing of a Christmas blog; that the words and the sentiment would be uncomfortable and strained.  The idea of an annual Christmas blog would and must die with an annual factor of one.

I write for a number of reasons.  I write to share an idea or thought, which is deemed collectively important for our group at Joy Squared.  I am encouraged at times to write at the prompting of others, with ideas that they consider necessary to have communicated.  I write to share how we are blessing and being blessed in shared joy.  Most therapeutically, I write to allow release of thoughts, which bounce around in my tenderly small brain until they are processed and ejected to allow room for another to take their place.  I had until this Christmas Eve morning received neither prompting nor direction to speak out in this format.

Today though I write; I write to share a joyful blessing.  Oddly, I at first considered holding this close to the vest; to be selfish in the joy my family and I were to experience this day.   I got over myself quickly though as I came to the knowledge that this was collective joy, not a personal one, a Joy Squared joy.

I am not always certain if God is employing His sense of humor or if He truly is moving me through one season of my life and into another.  I do so try to maintain an ear to the ground so to speak; what is it Lord that you have for me?  Recently a friend of a friend, struggling with the idea of becoming and maintaining a posture of sobriety had been put in my life.  Admittedly, due to a certain level of codependency, I struggle on the front end of a person’s journey towards a sober life.  My typical point of entry is when a man achieves a certain period of time, some tangible length of sobriety.  This particular friend of a friend though, well he kept popping up into my field of vision or upon my internal screen.  Eventually the thought of grace came into my mind; “Scott, maybe you could try a bit of the grace, which was offered you”, became the new and dominate thought.  Somewhat reluctantly I got involved.  In my involvement I strongly encouraged this man, if he was serious in becoming and remaining sober, to attend the 6:00 am Attitude Modification meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Oh but I was not finished with the Whisper; next hearing, “Scott, maybe while giving direction for his attendance, possibly just possibly, you may consider attending with him.”  Twenty years sober and you want me to start attending meetings again Lord? .  “Yes.”  So there sits Scott, Monday through Thursday mornings at 6:00am, in a chair, in a room at St Martin’s church.  I will tell you in full disclosure, it was not twelve minutes into that first meeting I had an understanding that Jesus did not have me in the room for a friend of a friend; He had me in the seat for me.  Big picture, yes, the return to the meetings was to be of service to others, but it became apparent that there was some immediate and needed heart work to be done in me.  I got the message, I opened my mind and I opened my heart and began hearing the same words from years ago.  I heard these words from years gone by but now I was hearing them from a new perspective.  I was hearing from a perspective or position or place, which is not nearly as self-centered as when I sat in these rooms twenty years ago.

The friend of a friend is doing just fine; he remains sober and has a light in his eyes not visible just a short time ago.  He remains sober as a he employs a 12-step program for living a life happy, joyous and free.  This friend though is not the reason for this writing or for our shared joy.  I have met many new friends in these meetings since my return.  Friends who have varied lengths of sobriety and are in differing places along their journeys, journeys bringing them in my opinion closer to God.  One of these new friends has recently asked me to be his A.A. sponsor.   Sponsorship is a vital part of recovery; a sponsor will offer guidance and support in working the steps of recovery.   I found myself sitting on Christmas Eve in Coffee Bean with my sponsee discussing the first step in recovery,  “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable”.   We were finding some humor in this discussion, and I will tell you that recalling some of our powerlessness / unmanageability paints some pretty humorous after the fact pictures.  We were having a laugh and in walked another of our brothers from the 6:00 am meeting.  In he walks, joining us briefly to say hello but not holding the same joyful countenance that we were nor what is his norm.   The just of his spirit being low was easily discerned in one sentence, “It’s not their fault that there will be no gifts under the tree”.  Sure, there is most certainly some lingering wreckage being played out from this man’s past but rest assured this individual is on the correct path.  “It’s not their fault that there will be no gifts under the tree”, seemed not words spoken by a new friend but seemed words spoken directly into my ears from God.

I called this man and asked him his permission to get a present for each of his many beautiful children.  Hesitant at first but quickly, gratefully and graciously accepting as I explained the true blessing would be ours.  It was an absolute honor to represent Joy Squared, to shop for gifts on Christmas Eve.  I wish to communicate the full and true joy in wrapping gifts and delivering gifts to children aged 2 through 16.  I would love to tell you some more details regarding the delivery of these gifts but in the interest of maintaining my friend’s anonymity, please suffice it to say that there was emotion and there was appreciation.

God is good and when He nudges us to get out of our own way, to be of service, God shows us in real and meaningful ways that He is also fond of us.

This Christmas I am reminded of the honor of being involved with all of you in this thing we call Joy Squared.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part, to share this joy and cause the true spirit of Christmas to be alive in all of us.

God Bless Us Everyone.