I saw God today

I usually refer to my Higher Power as “the Universe.” Today’s blog is named after a song by George Strait:

“I’ve been to church
I’ve read the book
I know He’s there
But I don’t look
Near as often as I should…”

I like the way that song feels. I don’t claim to know anymore about God than anyone else. I only know what works for me and that She/He/It reveals itself to me all the time.

My church is an outpatient mental health and addictions counseling center located in a poor neighborhood in Brewer, Maine. My “good book(s)” are the Tao Te Ching, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and every collection of Post Secret.

My faith is simple. It’s born of equal parts suffering and miracles.

I’ve seen too much of both not believe there is something. I’ve sat with countless folks who overcome unspeakable pain. I am honored to witness the tremendous ways in which they pay it forward to lost souls who are very, very much like me.

I don’t struggle to believe in things greater than myself nor in people who see themselves as less than me. I seek not to understand but rather to experience, “God.” By surrounding myself with those seeking spiritual transformation, I get to do that a lot.

Today I met God in the form of a 14-year old girl.

God has immeasurable sadness in her huge, dark brown eyes.

She is beyond resilient and precocious. She wanted to meet me because, “You look like Dumbledore.”

She bantered with me for a few minutes and asked some great questions about my life, my work and how I like my tacos.

I usually talk to teenagers the way I talk to adults, but this child seemed so young to me.  I asked her, “What do you like to do?” She looked right at me and said,

“I raise my little brother and sister.”

I told her that’s the most impressive thing I’ve ever heard.

I barely made it out of there before the first tear fell. She’s just a baby and yet she never got to be a kid. She never got to be carefree and just play.

To the core of my being, I want to give this child and her siblings a home. I can’t. With everything I am, I want to help her parents. I can’t. They’re not ready and may never be.

I’ve learned not to rail against my powerlessness. As much as I hate it, when I do not accept it, I spend a lot of time and energy looking for ways to control things that are beyond my control.

I don’t believe the Universe wants that for me.

My anger and my hatred for her parent’s disease doesn’t benefit that girl one bit. My time and caring do.

I know the joy of service. I am beyond honored to supervise the amazing therapist who puts her heart and soul into supporting that child.

I don’t get to decide this child’s fate. I only get to give small acts of kindness.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

I marvel at people who say they’re looking for motivation or inspiration. Look into a child’s eyes and tell me what you see.

Wanna help end the addiction epidemic? Invest in every child you meet.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim is the cofounder of Sobernow.com an online addiction recovery program that is affordable and provides complete anonymity