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Beside Restful Waters

by Gregory Hermann



Fr. Richard Rohr

Wait a minute!

I thought grace, God's presence, was supposed to fill a void, not create one.

Well, it appears that my way of thinking is upside down.

I think back over my time in active addiction compared to my time in recovery. In active addiction, I held my God in this space which I confined to meet my expectations. I'd open this space at my convenience and took pride in my holiness, my way of holiness.

Then, during my point of desperation, I spoke words of hopelessness. I did not consider this prayer. Rather, a gut level cry of desperation. Very soon after that, I met a man who offered recovery. I had never met him before and only connected with him a couple times after yet I was taking my first step in recovery.

The first four to five steps of recovery are definitely steps in the 'void', in a 'void'.

As I reflect now, I certainly felt like I was in an empty void, an empty space with only fear and pain. Yet, this space was filled with the God of hope expressed by the men and women on this path of recovery. They shared experiences of healing and hope. They opened their spaces of struggle and sobriety. They occupied the spaces of grace.

Now, here we are. In our daily celebration – grace – we offer the strength and hope of our moments of grace. We make sense, in our sick sort of ways, of the stresses of sobriety, politics, Covid, whose life matters, why life matters, and our collective relationships that make life matter.

We make life matter.

We are grace.


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