Grateful Heart Monday

Well it’s the beginning of the week which of course you know then that it’s time for another Grateful Heart Monday, which for today is for this guy named Jay, someone from the rooms of 12 Step recovery, who did something during a recent meeting that truly touched my heart.

On the average, I attend somewhere between three to four 12 Step meetings a week and for the most part, rarely does anything happen anymore during them that ever end up blowing me away. After 25 years of sobriety and having attended countless meetings, it’s safe to say that it takes something pretty special to make a meeting overly memorable for me these days. But, thankfully occasionally they do still happen, like they did during my last home group’s meeting.

When that meeting began, I raised my hand first to share. I talked about how difficult a time I’ve been having navigating this COVID-19 world where signs of affection have become far and few between. I mentioned how prior to this pandemic, I always looked forward to the many hugs I received and how loved I consistently felt in every room of recovery I attended. But ever since this virus got unleashed upon our world, I’ve felt more and more alone with each day that has passed and have grown so weary of all those elbow and fist bumps, and people keeping their distance from each other. For as much as I know the importance of and reasons behind social distancing, it’s caused me such great angst that I’ve fallen into depression and great loneliness. I went on to mention after that how I’ve still done my very best to keep putting myself out there to help the next suffering person, but how that hasn’t taken any of those feelings of depression and loneliness away. I watched as many heads nodded in agreement, letting me know I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling. I ended by saying that sometimes I really just need a hug to know I’m still loved in this crazy world, especially as our world continues to become more and more distant from each other.

When the next person began to share, a guy by the name of Jay, I was totally on the verge of tears from what I had just opened up about. I had made myself feel so extremely vulnerable during my brief moments of speaking that I had become fully overwhelmed in emotion. As Jay began to speak, he suddenly stopped and looked at me, and said that before he proceeded any further, he wanted to give me a hug because he knew I needed it and wasn’t afraid, pandemic and all.

So, as all the others in attendance sat there in silence, Jay got up, walked over to me, and gave me the warmest and most genuine hug I’ve probably received during this entire pandemic thus far. It was so warm and genuine and so much from the heart and soul, that I could feel God’s love emanating from him. Such a small blip in my day truly ended up having such an incredibly huge impact upon my life right then. Why? Because Jay did what I felt Christ would have done, even in the midst of a crazy virus and all the fears surrounding it. He trusted the Spirit enough to not be afraid of crossing those socially distant boundaries and gave me the very thing God knew I needed oh, so, very bad.

I am so grateful for that hug, for Jay, and for all those out there like him, who even in the midst of this pandemic, continue to offer their tokens of affection to others, because like Christ taught long ago, unconditional acts of love conquers all, even social distancing and even a virus.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson