Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Act of Kindness

While we're waiting for a table with a group outside a nice Las Vegas restaurant a panhandler approaches with his hand out.

He's middle-aged and scruffy looking. Like he hasn't had a bath in a while and maybe sleeps in his clothes. He's shivering in a thin jacket in the 40 degree cold.

A woman in the group searches her purse, but can't find any change. A nearby man is rough with the panhandler, who says he needs food. The panhandler shuffles off slowly, head down.

Then the woman looking for change calls the man back. She hands him a twenty - the smallest thing she has. He's amazed and offers blessings - then hurries off.

It's a spiritual moment, to witness this act of kindness.

Some object to helping panhandlers. They think they might buy drugs or alcohol.

But my first sponsor taught me to give. He said it was none of my business what they did with it. He said if they were buying alcohol or drugs that maybe they'd get finished sooner and get into recovery.

He also said what we give is between us and God. What others do with our gift is between them and God.

Click here to email John