Sunday, August 2, 2009

IDAA 2009

The conference is over but the year begins. Burns Brady was the breakfast spiritual speaker. Of his many themes Grace and Faith without Works were the two that I heard most. I heard grace explained as I'd never heard it explained before. Grace was the realization that I didn't get what I deserved. He spoke of Bill Wilson speaking to Father Dowling, "Will I ever find peace." "No, " answered Father Dowling, "You are divine dissatisfaction." The message of recovery was that you had to 'pass it on'. You had to share what had been freely shared with you. Burns described his days when he was riding high in a 'power blue leizure' suit, deacon of his churh, a head in his hospital and supposedly should have had everything but inside he felt like nothing. Today he feels a whole lot better thanks to the program of AA and doing the steps of sacrifice and service.

At the end of his tall everyone was stood and applauded many with tears in their eyes after hearing him share the intimate details of his life in recovery and how it began over a quarter century ago. Today he is a source of hope for so many.

The banner of the meeting was passed then from San Antonnio to Buffalo. Then nearly a thousand joined hands in prayer and thanks. Aetheists, agnostics and theists together in praise of a 'higher power' and the realization 'it's not me'.

Rounds of parting hugs and quiet conversations began. New friends, old friends and always "See you in Buffalo." IDAA is probably the healthiest addiction a doctor could indulge in. The main complaint is that we can't have 'more'. But what's surprising about that given so many of the stories we share.


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