Helping hands in service

Bookmarks – November – The Jokester and the Wisdom in Our Literature

Nov 20, 2021

More than a few years ago, I bought Courage to Change (B-16) after a meeting. My husband had just come home from his.

 We were in the living room, he was standing, I was seated. He picked up my book, opened it, looked down at a page and intoned like a preacher, “Your alcoholic is a gift from God.”

I nodded in agreement. Then I thought, Wait a minute. He just made that up!

Kidder that he is, he had just spun those words from thin air, and was pleased that he had almost pulled a fast one on me.

But the truth is, my alcoholic is a gift from God. I never would have known about Al-Anon without him. And I never would have encountered the wisdom to be found in our literature.

Over the years, I have purchased a small library of Conference Approved Literature. They give me the resources I need for a new perspective and/or to renew my spirit. Sometimes, with my three well-thumbed daily readers, I come upon a page and think—because the content strikes me as brand new—Did I ever read this before? Maybe yes, maybe no. But if I did read it before,  perhaps I wasn’t ready to receive its full message at that time. Maybe I was at a different stage of recovery then. I find that the messages I receive do change as I progress toward serenity in my life.

My home group frequently taps into How Al-Anon Works (B-32) as a springboard for discussion. We also have multiple copies of different literature to buy or lend for meeting topics. Reaching for Personal Freedom (P-92) has become another touchstone for new  viewpoints at our meetings. I find it helps expand my thinking about the Steps, Traditions and the Concepts of Service.

Our Conference Approved Literature is a gold mine for anyone interested in learning more about Al-Anon and searching for serenity. For me, even the “old” books can contain nuggets to dig out just as readily as the newer literature can give me a deeper understanding of this beautiful way of life called Al-Anon.

I confess to having been absent most of this year from my service as your Literature/Forum Coordinator.

But I found the push I needed during a recent online meeting of literature coordinators from throughout the United States and Canada. I even heard a real-time translation of a Spanish-speaking coordinator. (I’m not sure where she was from.) I listened to their journeys through service, and how they go about spreading the word about the wisdom to be found in our Conference Approved Literature. The meeting gave me a real appreciation for this wonderful worldwide fellowship.

So I approach this fall and winter with a renewed willingness to commit my time and effort to spreading the word about our literature and all the richness it holds.

Thanks for letting me share,

In grateful service,

Ellen C.

Literature/Forum Coordinator

Panel 61