I have been thinking about an online conversation I had about God and Alcoholics Anonymous. My friend seemed to be under the impression that the function of God in AA was sort of a strict schoolteacher keeping his charges on the straight and narrow. He didn’t mention hell, but perhaps that is how people imagine it goes. Stop drinking or you are going to get punished. But that isn’t the reality at all. You don’t have to believe in God to be in AA, but many of us do.
AA is by far the most mysterious things that I participate in my life. The experience is hard to communicate to outsiders. I think that is because in essence addiction and recovery are spiritual experiences.
I have an image in my mind’s eye that illustrates how I experience it. By far the most dangerous people I have ever met have been in AA. I’ve met felons, gang members, police officers, politicians, teachers, housewives, actors and musicians. I’ve met the very famous and the truly anonymous. None of this
matters in the halls. In my mind’s eye, we all come into room at the designated place and time, sit down in a circle, and then open our shirts. It is as if we have zippers on our chests that we each unzip to reveal our battered and beating hearts to each other. We then zip our chests back up and go out into our lives, and we don’t drink. It is unclear to me how God fits in all of this other to say because of my experience in getting sober I believe in love. I believe in God’s love.