I’m driving. My son is beside me in the passenger seat. 80% of his body is covered in rash. He’s having trouble breathing. He is going into anaphylactic shock and may stop breathing within the hour, unless he gets medical attention.
I’m speeding down the road on the way to the hospital with my caution lights flashing. I get a phone call that I ignore. I don’t even look to see who’s calling. No time.
I’m not allowed to enter the hospital with my son. Only one person can accompany the patient in the emergency room waiting area. That person will be his mother. I go back to my truck, say a prayer, and look through my son’s belongings for anything out of the ordinary. Any types of food I can find, insects, anything. I’m scared but I’m confident that he is in the best place he can be, a hospital with his mother. But I’m not in there with him and that bothers me a lot. I say another prayer and take up my phone to reach out to my siblings and to my fellows in recovery… maybe another prayer would calm me down right now.
I check to see who called earlier. When I see the name I say, “Perfect”. It is a sponsee who happens to be a medical professional, an expert in medical emergencies! He’s been in the profession for years and, he happens to know the hospital and the doctors and nurses tending to my son. No one in any of my circles – family, work, recovery, friends – knows anything about medical care, much less about hospitals in my area, but this guy does. My sponsor lives 2,460 miles away, and another sponsee of mine lives 670 miles away, but this guy happens to live here and work in that very hospital.
I call him back and we talk about the situation. He tells me I’m lucky that my son is being treated in that hospital; the other hospital across town was overcrowded the night before. He explains how my son will be cared for and how the response process will escalate if required. Straightaway, I’m feeling much better.
He actually gives me something to work on to keep me busy. This is what really good caregivers do. They make you feel like you’re helping them. It reduces the humiliating experience of being powerless, needing the kindness of strangers. I don’t like needing anything. I’ve sponsored a good many down the years – my AA clean date is 6/15/97; my SA clean date is 6/9/13 – but I’ve only ever had one sponsor. I don’t like needing attention.
So, this sponsee gets me talking on the phone, asking me questions like he has a clipboard out and is taking really important details. Shortly into this, my wife texts me and I need to shift my attention back to her. ‘Call her,’ he says and invites me to call him back again if I need to. She tells me I can enter the hospital and see my son who is now recovering. Boy, what a relief. My wife and I are pretty frazzled, but junior is feeling and looking much better. He’s going to be OK.
Can God just drop the right person, with the right information, at the right time into my life like that? If He can, why would He? He doesn’t know me. I mean… He’s not watching me every moment of every day, is He? Is He that concerned about me? Really? Me?
The answer is yes and yes and yes. He can and He does. I’ve experienced it too often to be otherwise – leaning into our program of Spiritual Recovery and finding God in unaccountable ways. I couldn’t do anything for my son once I’d left him at the hospital doors. God, my wife, the doctors and nurses were doing that already. I was out in the parking lot, on my own, going crazy, desperate for someone to talk to.
But I didn’t have to go scrolling through names for people who would listen through my anxiety. The solution was right there on my phone-screen, a missed call from him – a medical expert who happens to work in the very hospital into which my son was admitted; a guy who would actively engage with me in my despair to calm me down in the very language I needed to hear – medical authority and assurance.
So my experience is that God does watch me every moment of every day. He does know me and He does care. He cares a whole bunch. He is that attentive. He is that gracious. He is that merciful in my moment of neediness.
I am forever grateful.
Thank you God for having a medical expert ask me six years ago to sponsor his recovery from sex addiction!
Thank you God for knowing that one-day, six years later, that same sponsee would be my ears and my eyes inside a hospital where my son was, when I was outside, desperate for reassurance.
Thank you God for this illustration of Your power.
I am so grateful.
Thank You God for SA.
Jesse S., Alabama, USA