Dingy little rooms

Last evening at the Big Book meeting we were reading a few final paragraphs of “Crossing the River of Denial” and a quote from the author leapt off the page,” But this time I asked with all my heart for God to help me, and a strange thing happened.  A physical sensation came over me, like a wave of pure energy, and I felt the presence of God in that dingy little room (p.335).”What struck me at first was the phrase “presence of God in that dingy little room.”  I’ve been in so many of those “dingy little rooms.” In those less than optimum quarters I’ve also felt something transcendent, certainly often felt as close to God as I’m probably going to get.   Whether it was the basement of the rectory at St. Anthony’s in Alston or the elementary school classroom at St Columbkille’s or the truly disreputable DAT (Day at a Time) Club storefront in Charlestown something unusual was going on.  Did I ever feel a “physical sensation” like the woman writing in the Big Book, yeah actually I have. What was that perception?  A bit of undigested food, random fluctuations in that area between the parietal and temporal lobe, perhaps the onset of the flu, signs of post acute withdrawal?  There is certainly not a lot of support outside the fellowship for the notion of experiencing the presence of a higher power.  To a large extent it is an epistemological problem.  In the modern world there seems to be only one way of knowing.  In recovery we believe there are other ways of knowing.  Beyond that, however, we have found something that works for us and prevents us from hurting others.  Everyone’s pretty lucky! 
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