Welcome to Grateful Heart Monday, a time for being thankful for someone or something in my life that has truly given me gratitude, which for today is for a server from an IHOP here in Toledo who provided me a wonderful blessing I really needed to hear.
I don’t go to IHOP all that often, and usually when I do it’s to get some of their harvest grain and nut pancakes, which are my favorite type of pancakes anywhere. Upon arriving there a few weeks ago, the server who sat us was super friendly and allowed my friend and I to sit in a room that technically was closed for the evening, but upon me asking for privacy, he allowed it. As I sat there looking over the menu, I noticed him occasionally staring at me. When I finally made eye contact, he asked if I had once worked for Rescue Crisis, which is a detox center here in Toledo. I told him that I’ve been volunteering there on Wednesday’s and run a 12 Step recovery meeting for addiction for the past four years. He then said, “I thought it was you and I want you to know that what you deeply affected me, so much so, that it was because of it I finally got sober and have remained that way ever since for 20 months now.”
After hearing that, I thought I was going to cry. So many times, I have told my story to those in addiction crisis, in jails and institutions and many other places too, but rarely have I ever gotten to see what happens to each of those recovery seeds after I’ve planted them. Most often actually, I get to see the same people coming back again and again with one relapse after another, never quite getting it. Yet this server totally got it…and it came through simply by sharing my experience, strength, and hope with him like I’ve done countless times over the life of my recovery work.
So, I am so thankful to God for bringing me this invaluable reminder that even when I see next to no results from my day to day recovery work and instead, more often than not, see one relapse and death after another, that indeed there is a seed I planted somewhere that has beautifully sprouted, all because of continuing to do this work one day at a time and leaving the rest up to God.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson