Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Message from God?

It may be a cliche, yet we often hear how God works through others.

A long-time TLC manager recounted this experience during the past holiday season. From Thanksgiving to Christmas he’d been working non-stop, supervising TLC activities during our non-profit’s busiest season - something he'd done for years. And, in the last hours of Christmas Eve, he still hadn't bought Christmas presents.

So while in line at the bank to withdraw shopping money, bone-tired, he told himself he’d find a different career – anything else. He was done helping others.

Then a large, well-dressed man in line ahead of him turned around, stuck his hand out, and said, “You probably don’t remember me, but I want to thank you. You changed my life.”

He didn't remember the man, but listened as he told how the program had changed his life. How he now was married, had children, and his own business.

Our manager appreciated the attaboy, then continued reflecting about his impending career change. But he changed his mind before he left the bank because three more former clients just “happened” to show up to thank him for his help.

When he got the parking lot he looked up and said “Alright, alright, I got the message.” And the next day he was back at work.