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​Spiritual Friday: Loving Service

I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful our last Friday was; the patients led all the readings, meditation, and music. One of the musical pieces was created by four of the patients. One produced the music, one wrote the lyrics, and all four of them sang. You can listen to it here: Spiritual Friday audio. We were so touched by their effort, talent, message, and loving service. It is simply awesome, so enjoy!

Our team consisted of nine patients. Each of them participated in their own way, carrying the responsibility of spiritually feeding everyone with grace and purpose. The spiritual leaders and I stepped back and were all observers during this time. I can’t tell you how much we all received from the patients.

The topic was the spiritual principle of Step Twelve: loving service, along with much emphasis on “having had a spiritual awakening”.

One patient began by reading from the Big Book “Spiritual Experience” (569-570) and then opened it up to the group asking, “Would anyone like to share how you have observed anyone in the community reaching out in loving service?”

Some of the answers included: someone making a meal, sharing a prayer, listening, crying with them, and taking a risk and being honest. This went on for about 10 minutes; it was really pure.

The patients read many readings selected by our group, from the Bible to Thoreau, from Buddha to Mother Teresa. Everyone snapped for these inspirational readings (we don’t clap on Spiritual Fridays because the patients like snapping!)

One patient read:

“So it is with our spiritual development. We prepare the soil within by painfully weeding out the selfish thinking that could choke out the flowering of the good within us. We plant the seed of faith and wait with the confidence of an experienced gardener. We sense the stirring within as the spiritual forces begin to push through our wall of indifference and isolation. We provide daily nourishment through prayer and meditation. We develop patience, which allows the blossoming to occur in G-d’s time…” -Sandy Beach

Another patient chose some very mystical music by Aphex Twin. Here’s a bit of his meditation:

Get comfortable, feet flat on the floor, eyes closed if that works for you. In your minds eye, visualize yourself sitting in this room in your chair right now. Now visualize a silver beam of light running up and down your spine, out the bottom of your feet all the way down to the center of the earth.You are connected to the planet. Feel this connection. Now ask yourself, ’Who am I?’ and listen…

His meditation lasted for almost 10 minutes and the patients were so still. They loved it and let him know it!

The group asked the patients how they felt about Spiritual Fridays. Here are some of the responses:

  • “On Spiritual Fridays, I don’t worry about what is happening; I just breathe and learn from everyone.”
  • “It gives me a higher understanding of everything.”
  • “When we do the questions, it helps me to understand what matters to others.”
  • “Admitting I’m powerless. Fridays help me remember there’s another Powerhelping me gain power.”
  • “Spiritual Fridays are fertile soil for my Higher Power!”
  • A patient in our vocational program joined us this Friday and shared, “You guys are so lucky to be here. I really miss this time. I would always take the “Spiritual Friday Vibe” and incorporate it into my week; it was the best.”

Before we split into groups, the leaders expressed how much it meant to them to lead and that they felt empowered, trusted, inspired, honored and loved.

Reverend Laurie Durgan