Saturday, May 13, 2006

grace notes

For reasons of my own, the time has come for me to go to an Alanon meeting. I've never been and am not sure what to expect, so I talked to my Awesome Anonymous pal about it, and she reminded me that even if I don't get anything out of it myself, I need to know what I'm referring people to when I'm ministering to them. Good advice, but maddening.

I felt nervous and kind of sick with fury since, as usual I'M the one who has to do the WORK of getting WELL even though it's other people who are SICK. Well, you know. But online I found out about an Alanon meeting nearby last night and it was a full moon which seemed a fortuitous time to start a new thing and Awesome Anonymous said she'd meet me at a coffee shop with another friend and then we'd go.

So we met at the coffee shop and I cried a little and everyone was very nice about it and Awesome Anonymous got me a cup of tea and our other pal gave me some cookies she had made and then it was time to go to the actual meeting. We weren't sure of the address, so we drove around in circles a little, then discovered that the church was actually only 2 blocks from the coffee shop, but the lot was full, so we had to go back to find parking and then we were late.

There was a meeting in that church basement. But not Alanon. Evidently, that meeting is not gathering there anymore on Friday nights, as of a month or so ago, and the web site has not caught up with this information yet. We stood around, a little deflated, trying to figure out what to do next. It was cool out, and none of us had the right clothes for walking in, so we agreed to see if the sanctuary was unlocked, and maybe we could talk in there.

Up the stairs, across the little courtyard. And the sanctuary WAS open! And there were people in there! Turns out it was an artwalk night on this street, and the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra was playing a little drop-in concert. And I saw someone I knew, and she gave me a hug, and we sat and listened and looked at the sweet Methodist stained glass and prayed and I felt all that nervous rage draining right out of me.

Afterwards, we all agreed that it had been just right, although not at all what we expected. Awesome Anonymous joked that it was just like us that we could not just make a PLAN to go out for coffee and to a nice concert, instead we had try and do a Very Serious Thing, which turned seemingly by itself into a Gently Relaxing Evening instead.
Which just goes to show you how sneaky God is.

Did I mention that the concert ended with "Roll Out the Barrel" - the all-mandolin version?
Because if I didn't mention that part, I should.

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