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Published February 2019.

Service in A Battered Suitcase

A clear-eyed look at the beauty (and difficulty) of service

In 1993, when I was about 7 months sober, some man gave me a beat-up suitcase and told me that I was now the group secretary/treasurer for our Saturday morning group at the Carvel Club in Indianapolis, Ind. Each week, I collected money from the basket, put the money in the suitcase, and put the suitcase in the trunk of my car. Eventually, I was asked where that money was and why I did not turn it into the clubhouse manager. Immediately after that conversation, I emptied the contents of that suitcase in front of an amused trusted servant. After a year, I announced to the group that I had served my term. Then, that tattered suitcase was taken from me and given to someone else.

After job loss, separation and divorce, moving to another state, and separation from my three children, I found myself in Oklahoma. There, I went to meetings, got a sponsor, worked the Steps, prayed, and did “non-official” service within my home group—the only service that I did for many years, actually. Since I worked as a middle school football coach and since our group elections (last Thursday in September) conflicted with my football games, I could not easily be elected into a group service post. Simply put, I figured that it was just the way it was. 

-- Phillip H.

Indianapolis, Ind.

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