God’s presence was with me all day. I count it human.
I missed my commitment for an early workout – typical human. I rested in bed with God’s presence – I remember that. I awoke and received encouragement from a beautiful roommate named Alexa. A bike rush to the GA office (government assistance). I was also encouraged by an amazing case worker to apply for renters assistance during my food stamps application. Despite the disapproval of a usually very supportive roommate, I took the case managers suggestion. I have struggled with my own internal oppression: Am I furthering an enabled relationship to financial responsibilities by accepting help? A roommate who has always been my ally represents this voice that I struggle with accepting. It is a voice that cries for the ideal Adam – the Adam that I am becoming. The difference between the ideal and the real Adam, is the difference that decides whether or not I qualify for GA. I qualified. I am still me. I need a great deal of help.
God’s presence during this intake interview process was astounding. The process is exposing, humbling. They verify your financial situation through full financial disclosure. Yes. I am in fact ‘poor’ as shit. I participated as the case worker ‘pored’ through my online bank statements. I sit there willingly exposed, following the suggestion of this first case worker whose supportive spirit offered me one clear direction, “Your rent must be under $400.” Well… My rent is over $400. Were it not me, I, like my roommate, would feel it an ethical dilemma, indeed, one that I should be above, beyond, superior. Here I pay close attention to my allied case worker – his spirit speaks for me against all my internalized repression. His spirit is the Spirit of God. He brushed past me today with confidence: “Remember, under $400 dollars.” He whispers. I sit as neutral as possible as both mine and the intake worker eye’s come to view an online check. I view it to my astonishment. A few weeks prior I had wrote a $400 dollar check with the words “Rent” written clearly under the memo. Just a few weeks prior I had given this check. And in that moment, I viewed the miraculous orchestration of events beyond my control, undeniably bound to my favor.
When events like these happen in my life I see grace. I like grace. Grace is bound to the feeling of acceptance. My normal, rational mind critiques upon grounds of morals – normal standards of “disclosure” even “honesty”. These were not my actions, nor is my accountability barred from spaces of increasing intimacy. I am bound to that accountability within friendly domains. For this event… Neutrally I come, neutrally I sit and I pass. I left the GA office accepting what is. One step at a time. I left with the lived tension that in order to pass my application for approval I would need to have a roommate sign a form confirming that I am a resident where I claim. It will be a conversation to come. I continually let go of my palpable fear of his more intimate judgment and his potential what his refusal to sign these papers might mean. I pray that the support I so clearly felt from a complete stranger that was my initial case worker, extends to him.
As I left the GA office I was stuck in these fearful visions. Just then I turned the corner to find two of my most dear friends. Oh… of course. Thank you Lord. That’s right… we were all getting sandwiches! Good lunch and off to reclaim my Ph.D. Wow. After a super tough year of administrative challenges, charged blogs, firing of professors, a victimization particular to higher education, I follow through on my commitment to reapply for my Ph.D. in Anthropology and Social Change. It is a different department now, with a new chair and a new curriculum. I really connected with Andrej. I had forgotten these feelings of deep frustration with the administration until he informed me that I would have to start my Ph.D. from the beginning. I was conferred an M.A. degree despite my written request to have my credits held. I was told that upon re-admission to the program, I would be allowed to pick up where I left off in my advancement, before my professors were fired. These matters to me are incredible personal. It is money to me. It is my pride; my right; my story; my life. I love noticing how painful it is to insist on being right. Oh man! I don’t want to fight at all. I love how far I have come in my ability to loosely hold my narrative, because I’m gathering the skillfulness grace that reminds me – I am God’s. All is God’s. Every narrative, every step. I left that office with his support – as much as he could communicate in my presence, amidst those energies that I conjure and admit. I am impressed with Andrej. Who knows whether I’ll be accepted into the doctoral program at CIIS. Once I was accepted and that was good. God is teaching me restoration.
I walked out of CIIS to run into a dear friend at a cafe – Clara. We embraced and she ran off somewhere. I felt at ease about letting go of my commitment to Glide for the evening since I was gifting myself an AA meeting with my sponsor where I would receive a year chip. So I happened to have a few extra hours. And at this point my go-to, especially when I’m feeling lonely or uncertain of myself, is to see a movie. Perfectly timed escapism. Me alone in the sanctuary of the theater. I walked in to “Ulimiate Rush” – a bike messenger movie I’ve been waiting for many months to see… And low and beyond there is Clara again. Sitting there with Linda – another co-worker I know. So weird-awesome. Whose world is this anyway? We were both propping the Universe – not a single move is missed.
The movies have for a long time, been directly linked to my addictive behavior. Finding Clara, not once but twice, and the second time being in the same theater… was nothing short of God’s presence. God redemes space. The process of my recovery is precisely that – recovery. I’m not doing this… I am being acted.
After, the film about city bike riding, I tear ass through San Francisco on my bike. I am powerful here. I hit the meeting and my sponsor has saved me a seat next to him. He happens to be the chair. Of course God plans it like this… I get my year chip from the chair of one of the most inspiring, powerful men’s meetings in San Francisco. I spoke. I was wet soggy and super confident.
Finally, my experience of indecision leads me to take the bus home. A fellow AAer get’s on and God nudges me to speak with him. He let’s me know he might have some sponsees for me who struggle with marijuana. Gift.
I’m home. I’m healthy. I have lived in God’s presence all day.