From the July 2018 magazine.

Maximum picnic

Doing service in prison not only feeds her soul, but sometimes even her stomach

Six years ago, I found myself in the parking lot outside of what would be my first AA meeting. Just released from jail, I was terrified and angry. Why had I listened to that guy from the AA helpline? I didn’t want to be here. I may have just been released from jail but I felt sure my life wasn’t that unmanageable. Or was it? 

I’d rather be dead than go into the meeting, but I had reached a state of hopelessness that I never imagined I would sink to. And yet, with a gentle shove from God, I moved slowly toward the door. I saw a man standing in the entrance with his back turned to me. I approached him and asked if this was AA. He turned around and gave me a big smile. “Yes, it is,” he said. “I am so glad you made it here. We’ve been waiting for you.” 

-- Ruth L.

Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada

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