I walked in the room; the same room I walk in each week. It is a court of restorative justice. A court where everyone comes to experience some movement of life that says, “We are moving forward; we are healing; we are alive.” It is a room where everyone is important and titles are set aside for the sake of recovery. Addiction meets us all in the space no matter our education, our work, or our family. We are here from many different perspectives; we share a common purpose of recovery.
The faces are mostly familiar because we show up each week, although we have new ones joining us from time to time. One by one people are added. One by one people “graduate” and continue on to life without the courtroom. The journey of restoration and healing never ends, it just moves places. The Judge always has a word of hope, a word of justice. She speaks from the wisdom of God. She reminds us that the boundaries that have been set for us are in good places. A Psalm is spoken maybe without knowing or awareness. (Ps 16:6)
There was in the room today a new face. She sat next to one of us; one who has been here for many months now. Her closeness and the smile on her face said she was his wife, someone beloved. She got up and walked over to me, “you are Vona…right?”
It only took two short sentences. I am ___________. I am __________’s daughter. Maybe it is a glimpse of what Elizabeth and Mary experienced when they greeted one another during their pregnancies. It is that unequaled sense that God arranged this meeting long ago. And that our journeys have been guided in such a way that when we needed to be reminded we would show up in the same room in a context we would never have imagined…and only for shared joy.
Our mothers have prayed together for over 30 years now. They don’t live in the same town, nor do they share the same life. What they share is Christ. What they hold in common is prayer. What they follow is the Spirit. I wonder if the other Marys that walked with Jesus ever had daughters that showed up in places they never expected to be and greeted one another by the power of their mother’s prayers?
When he came home with the prayer shawl (knitted by someone in my church) a conversation happened. A connection was revealed. From one prayer group’s faithfulness to another. From one friend to another. From one story to another. Indeed, God is with us. You never know who is in the room.