This week, the person I was thinking about as a mentor in the faith was someone who inspired me and helped me to grow in amazing ways. And while it was not "church" related, his actions had more to do with my journey of faith than many others.
For this to make sense, one thing you need to know (if you don't already) is that I am a recovering alcoholic. I have been sober over 19 years now. My drinking career was short but furious.
And Mr. Anonymous is one of the people who helped bring an end to that furious time in my life.
Part of AA is the Anonymous part, so you won't get my friend's name in this post, I will just call him Mr. A.
Mr. A and I were drinking buddies, and when I hit bottom and started to see I had a problem I called him. It turns out that a few months earlier he had hit bottom and realized the same thing. So he became a sober buddy with me and the two of us commiserated, supported, and walked day by day, hour by hour with each other.
He is also a person that I will never be able to repay, because he was the one who picked up the phone when I called and challenged me to stay the course.
For the first few years of my sobriety Mr. A and I did a lot together - going to meetings, talking on the phone, working with others who were struggling, going out and find ways to have fun without alcohol.
It was a transformative time in my life, as it needed to be. And it was made easier, maybe even possible, because of Mr. A.
It was also through him, and the people that he introduced me to, that I saw what true hospitality was. For any time I entered a new group or went to a new meeting, I was welcomed with open arms. I was welcomed as a lost son returning home.
And over the years I was inspired by that welcoming and strive to make the church the same type of place. A place where, when a new face appears, they are welcomed in as ones who are loved, cared for, and needed.
I still talk with Mr. A. He manages to call at just the right time and bless me with the strength I need. He is one of my brothers. I know that I can never repay him for what he has done for me, and a lot of my faith walk is due to the fact that he is in my life.
So thank you, Mr. A, you are a true blessing to me.