April 20 - A Miracle

Several years ago, we were sitting in the sunshine, ten of us around a table. It could not have been a prettier spring day, yet a storm was in each of our hearts. One of the members of our group, Sam (who has given us permission to use her name), was suffering from an eating disorder, and we were gathered to offer her support and hopefully interrupt any denial she might still be in. She did not know this was the plan, and we all prayed that she would be able to hear the abundance of love we each felt for her.

As we ate from our overflowing plates of delicious food served at the conference, she nibbled gingerly on an apple. This cloud of fear kept trying to descend over the table, but a combination of courage and love kept pushing it back. When most had finished their meals, a courageous and loving woman began the conversation gently and softly.

“Sam, we are concerned about you and we want to offer our help. We love you, and we are worried about you.” Sam gasped a bit before reaching for my hand; we sat side by side, sharing this sacred moment made possible by many years of trust and the contribution of this loving group of friends.

They went around the table, expressing their love and making certain that Sam let it into her soul. Everyone kept mentioning the gift that she is that she could not yet see. We explored the vision that we all had of her future...that she would help children everywhere as a result of her childhood experiences, as well as contribute to young people what she knew about “Ed,” her “Eating Disorder.” She knows a lot about denial, secrecy, heartache, and sorrow. Now we were inviting her to deeply explore and understand all of these emotions so that she could contribute her knowledge to others who needed her so desperately. This is where we believed she would discover her true power, and it would replace that which she had been doing to artificially satisfy her longing to contribute and to discover where she belongs.

She shared of her wanting to disappear, that life would be easier without her in it. Each person then expressed what life would be without her in it. I think Sam finally understood that this family of friends would never be the same if she left again for any reason or in any way.

Then someone asked her about the diet pills that he felt she might be taking. She hung her head behind a napkin, but she spoke the truth and admitted that she had 600 at home and some in the car. Together we made plans to throw them all out; they would drive her to her home this evening and clean out completely any substances that might interfere with her recovery. They made a plan to make loving support available to her every day. They set up a schedule to call her. She promised to answer the phone.

One woman, who just a moment before had been trying to help Sam, shared that she was now inspired to face her own addictive behavior of smoking…directly as a result of how Sam was handling this particular conversation. They did a high five and committed to supporting each other daily in their quest to establish healthy habits. Sam began to see that she was already making a difference with her life…just as it was.

This was a group that not very long ago would have worried about Sam but would have never spoken up. They might have said something to each other, but they would have been terrified to talk with her directly.

On this day in the sunshine, they reached deep down within their souls and connected with the kind of courage that only genuine love can manifest. Today amidst the blossoming tulips, they gave life to their friend, and they gave life to themselves. I feel blessed to have witnessed this miracle. I feel blessed to be alive in their springtime of their souls.

(Postscript...Sam continues to inspire with her life...she helps young girls every day with her experience and loving heart...they know she truly understands and that they have a supportive companion on their journeys home to themselves.)

Is there someone that you are worried about that needs your support? Have you accessed your courage and spoken what you see? Do you realize the power of love behind your words? Are you willing to risk that someone will not like you for a while so that they might have a long life in which to love you? And above all, just like Sam, are you willing to use your life in order to help others?

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