Back in the 1990’s I was Director of the Men’s Recover Program at The Boston Rescue Mission Where my good friend John Saamon was Executive Director. John worked at Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles When I was President of that mission.
One of my favorite members of the Men’s Program was a man named Tom. Tom was from Cambridge MA which was just across the river from Boston. He was someone I greatly enjoyed. Tom if you see this I would love to get in touch with you.
Tom became very concerned with his recovery while he was with us. He asked me what I would recommend to help him get the most help in his recovery. I told him “Go to 90 meetings in 90 days. A few years later when I was just starting my Al-Anon program I made the same commitment to my program and made 90 Al-Anon meetings in 90 days’
One of the things Tom needed to do was to clear up a large number of speeding tickets up in New Hampshire. I offered to drive him around to various court districts to clear up the tickets.While we were driving up to New Hampshire Tom gave me a stern lecture. He said I was to stay out of the results of what happened to him in court. If he was fined I could not offer to pay the fines. If he was sent to jail by one of the judges I Could not bail him out.
I remember in one court the prosecutor held up a computer listing of outstanding tickets. I watched as the Prosecutor’s computer list unfolded into several pages of tickets. When Tom was asked to respond to the great number of tickets on the computer lists. He said “You should see Massachusetts”.
That’s how it went all day as we went to district after district. To My amazement, all day long courts were so impressed by Rich’s commitment to recovery that they cancelled all the tickets. I was completely overwhelmed by the amazing mercy Rich received in all the courtrooms we visited.
Another person I very much enjoyed was my co-worker Mary. I was the Men’s Program director so I worked with a group of men and Mary had her group of Men. While working as the Directors of our groups we became very close friends. Talking to and working with Mary was always good for me.
In all my ministry through the years I noticed two different strategies were needed in order to share my love and ministry with people. If I likened the two main points I was wanting to make to two mountain peaks I knew how to communicate.
With one kind of person I needed to started at one peak. Then I needed to walk down into the valley between the two peaks, fill in every step along the way and then climb up to the top of the second peak to complete the thought process. Most people I have had serious talks with were like that. I loved talking to people in that way. I love communicating that way.
With Mary and some other people I always could jump from mountain peak to mountain peak. The difference between the two ways to communicate was not intelligence. The difference was some people thought like me and some did not. I seemed to be able to communicate to most people. I could explain my idea to a child as well as an adult.
I am not bragging. I am simply describing a gift of communication that was not earned or developed by me. My nephew Steve had a gifted technical mind. My sisters Ruby and Judy had very pronounced musical gifts. My daughters have the gift of the ability to get things done. My sister Evelyn had the gift of seeing need and meeting it.
People with the gifts like the dozens of gifts possible have blessed me all my life. I thank God for how blessed I have been because of the gifts that my family, friends and teachers have given to me.
My very dear friend Mary has been given the same kind of gifts from God as I have.. We have a matching set. That means Mary and I can easily jump from mountain peak to mountain peak together. Our minds work in the same way. That means communicating with Mary just flows like a mountain brook in an easy flowing sparkly bubbly kind of way. That easy clear flowing way of connecting together is as true today as it was twenty five years ago.
One time each week that we were together was amazingly good. We met in a large room with just one piece of furniture. There was a long folding table near the outside windows. Mary sat on the side closest to the windows and I sat on the other side of the table opposite of the table.
Mary would give the name of one of her men and give me prayer requests for that man. Then I would pray a very informed and thorough prayer based on what Mary had told me. Then I would bring up one of my guys and give Mary my prayer requests. Then Mary would pray a very focused prayer for my guy based on what I had told her. We each had eight or ten guys. We continued until each man had been prayed for. Each prayer meeting lasted close to an hour
There is an old gospel song called”Heaven Came Down And Glory Filled My soul”. Our prayer time was like that every week. As I write this I am getting a taste of that grace. Mary and I are in contact these days thanks to Facebook. I am so grateful that we are in contact again. It is a very rewarding thing to me.