We share an outlet at the Front Porch. Everyday I come in to work, she comes in to occupy her time and download music for friends. As we plug our laptops in, we banter about the weather and joke about some of the Front Porch regulars. I have made a new friend.
Every week there are 8 recovery meetings at the Front Porch. I always count it as a deep blessing when I am able to listen in on the meetings, as men and women share their struggles, successes, and steps towards recovery. My new friend attends as many meetings as she can.
She shares her story at the meeting today. She shared how the holidays were challenging for her, bringing up memories and realities of her broken family. She knew where her boyfriend's spare bottles where, and a small sip would do so much to alleviate the pain.
She didn't drink, but called her sponsor. She shared how he helped her and that she spent the rest of the day at the Front Porch Café. It was a welcomed respite from the chaos of home and she appreciated the friends she had at the Café. She thanked me at the meeting for keeping the place open throughout Christmas and the New Year and reminded us that we just don't know how many people this place touches.
I'm always humbled by this. I know that it is not my machinations, Duane's charisma, nor Lisa's attention to detail that make South Street and the Front Porch is the place it is. It is by God's Spirit, His Presence here. I count it as a blessing when I get to watch the mustard seed grow. When a woman can come to the Front Porch to stay sober. When men can connect to just housing. Where kids are given the space to enjoy childhood.
And as I prepare for this upcoming year with budgets and organizational goals, the closing prayer of that Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and the voice of a new friend remind me how to pray and plan:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.