Christian healing

Healing happens! I wanted a place to share the sweet stories of God's grace and power that people send to me. Lift up your heart with joy to the Lord! Rejoice, be glad, and praise God's wonderful works to the children of men.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The next step in healing of drinking alcohol

I had beautiful healing of drinking alcohol. I was never tempted to drink again, even at parish suppers in the Episcopal church of which I was a member, where wine was served. (Naturally, I took communion but that really is something different.)

There was, however, a further episode that clinched the healing in a way I’d never expected. After I had joined The Mother Church, the local branch church, etc., I learned that there would be a kind of world’s fair of printing in Dusseldorf, Germany. I happened to be going to Ireland that year (I was doing follow up research there, post-PhD) and thought how neat it would be to get to that conference. At the time I was handling publications for the Schools of Arts and Science at NYU and bought a lot of printing for the schools, etc. because I oversaw every aspect of that work. Anyway, it was too late to get a hotel room at a reasonable rate but a fellow Scientist through her personal social network got me a room with a very elderly German lady.

When she was taking me out to dinner, she asked if I would have something to drink (meaning alcohol) and I said I would prefer not to drink. (She had already told me that when she applied for membership she’d told them that she had drunk beer all her life and at this late date, she wasn’t going to stop; and they admitted her anyway.) She respected my decision, but had planned to take me to a “Beer Garden” the first night, so I would be exposed to the “food of the people” and then a nice place the next night. I said that would be fine with me, and when we got there she ordered tomato juice for me.

The waiter seemed like he was about 7 feet tall and at least 4 feet wide. He looked down at me and said in German, “Tomatoes are in the garden; here you drink beer.” When she translated this for me, I was dismayed because of all the alcoholic beverages, for some reason, beer was the most “deadly” for me. I really only needed one can of beer to be under the table drunk. I had this vision of embarrassing my hostess and the friend who had gotten me this opportunity by becoming a total sot. Bravely, I told myself that I just wouldn’t drink the beer. My hostess knew I didn’t want it, so she’d understand.

Well, she had done the ordering in German and when our meal came I faced a new challenge: it was lima beans with thick, uncrisp strips of bacon across the top. The grease on top of it all must have been at least ¼ of an inch thick, and that didn’t count the bacon. I gulped, and began to eat. It was delicious but I was desperately thirsty and the only thing on the table to drink was the beer. Finally, saying a prayer to God to sustain me, I began to drink it.

It was a large mug of beer—like a tankard kind of thing—and I’m pretty sure I drank the whole thing. I never got drunk. It had no effect on me whatsoever. It could have been the water that I would have actually preferred.

It was then that I realized something really important: up to that point, while I had never been tempted, there had lurked in the back of my mind the fear that if I ever did drink, I would become drunk or be unable to stop (as had been in the past). Neither of those things happened, and I knew that I was now totally free—free of any attraction to liquor but also free of the belief that it could do anything to me. I no longer had to be afraid of it.

Like we said after our chat, “Been there, done that.”

The rest of my visit to the printing conference was great, the woman took me out to a wonderful elegant restaurant the next night with no pressure to drink, and it was just perfect. But I’ve always been grateful for this second stage of the healing because it really nailed it.
- from Massachusetts