• sadie.speaks

Three Cheers

Updated: Apr 8

Everything tastes better in a stemmed glass. All circumstances seem better when you are drinking from a stemmed glass. Take that back, everything is better when you are drinking from a stemmed glass.


My husband and I love to celebrate. We (rather, I) love to set a fancy table with stemmed glasses and 'bubbly'. By 'bubbly' I mean Welch's sparkling grape juice or Sprite with a splash of floating fruit--nothing fancy or expensive or alcoholic because--we are us.


When I say everything is better, I mean it. A cold glass of milk poured into a stemmed glass aside cinnamon toast, better. Ice water straight from the fridge door refreshes that much more when in a stemmed glass. Soda pop, orange juice, milkshakes, iced coffee, Virgin Arnold Palmer on the rocks— you name the drink, I believe in the power of a stemmed glass to set a new mood.

A stemmed glass elevates the mundane to fancy. It levels up the everyday to a proper celebration. It takes a sad song like ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and leaves people hugging and kissing to bring in the new year with joy.


A stemmed glass reminds me of the beautiful chalice that many Christians sip the blood of Christ from at the Eucharist, Holy Communion - the thanksgiving service of believers. Drinking from that Cup, we trade our sins for forgiveness. We trade our ashes for beauty. We trade our sorrow for no more tears. We trade our vices for virtue.


In the very end, drinking from THE STEMMED GLASS prepared for us at the great celebration feast of The Overcomer, my guess is that we will raise our glasses with all our family in Christ and shout with joy, “to the Lamb! Who takes away the sins of the world! To the Lamb! Who conquered death! To the Lamb! Who wrote my name in His book by His grace!”


I imagine the cheers will go on for eternity, as they should. Not because we are imbibing in an unhealthy way from the cup—but because we are eternally grateful for Jesus’ great gift of forgiveness to us. We are raising up shouts of joy with a clink of the glass over and over again.


My oldest grandson has a name that I associate with acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. He sat across from me at our family Christmas celebration this past year. I dared to set the table this time with stemmed glasses for all — even the six grandchildren five years old and under. The little ones had their ‘bubbly’ served in stemmed glasses just their size. For me, it was the crowning moment of the feast to toast with a new generation of little people around a fancy table— celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas together.


My grandson and I clinked glasses, smiled and said, ‘cheers!’ He gulped from his little glass. And then asked for more. I gladly poured again. His dark chocolate-brown eyes looked up at me, smiled and said, ‘Grandma, cheers!’ begging for another clink, another toast, another celebration. I obliged. Fifteen people sat around the table: two-year-olds grabbing at extra bread rolls that passed by, spills, extra helpings for the grownups, laughter, conversation, chaotic cries for extra napkins at the end, sentimental gifts given so a few tears, memories voiced — and little mister sitting across the table from me was still preoccupied with his stemmed glass. And asking Grandma to toast with him, ‘cheers’. We must have toasted a half a dozen times that meal. And it’s my favorite memory from the holidays.



Because, he knew. He knew the way to his grandmother’s heart, yes. But he knew that everything is better when you drink it from a stemmed glass. He knew that the Christmas celebration was worth celebrating more than once. He knew that justice and mercy and walking humbly were all wrapped up in a toast to the babe at Christmas who came to take away the sins of the world.


I had a hard winter. I wrestled with my eternal worth, my sins, my forgiveness, my immortality, my identity, my past and my future. I contemplated the addict, the enabler, the abused, and even the abuser. I came face to face with the world, my own deceitful flesh and the devil. And, I drank from stemmed glasses as much as I could— trying to elevate this suffering to some sort of a celebration of gratitude. Poetry poured from me like an offering.


I reached for stemmed glasses in a metaphorical way of reaching for the chalice, the cup of forgiveness. Yet what the following poem taught me is that He reaches for me, first. His mercy is more. Like our little grandson who with fisted hand asked me to continue to raise a glass, Jesus asks me to celebrate His forgiveness over and over again! The true ‘Founder of the Feast’ (from Dickens, A Christmas Carol) wishes us to celebrate Him with childlike faith, cheering His love for us. Cheering His forgiveness. Cheering His victory over death.


It seems so simple and yet so counterintuitive to the sorrow of our 'dark night of the soul' that celebrations would be the 'joy comes in the morning' antidote. But, it is. When the Word of God says that 'His banner over me is love', that is referring to a flag of identity likened to a victory banner carried in war! Around a feasting table of believers, we are celebrating a great victory over all the enemy has mounted against us. We are reminding ourselves, and our enemies--God wins. Jesus wins. The Holy Spirit fills.


Pour the bubbly! Raise a stemmed glass! May we never stop celebrating His pardon and mercy to us. May we never stop celebrating His mercies new every morning and His victories true every night. For a thousand generations.


“Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?


You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.


You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged an oath to our ancestors in days long ago.

Micah 7:18-20

 

I realize this poem is raw and edgy— especially to those who have loved and lived with an addict. Nearly the entirety of the 12 Steps commonly used in recovery is an inventory and coming to terms with our shortcomings. I borrowed thoughts from those sentiments. I hope you can hear the nuance and read between the lines to capture the underlying themes of forgiveness, repentance, humility and the essence of reaching for forgivers; the Forgiver. May it resonate in your spirit.


Three Cheers

Three cheers for the addicts among us

The ones who return to their sins

So often and so much

That they are forced to reach

For forgiveness;

For forbearance;

For forgetfulness of their blunders;

For foresightedness of their triggers;

For forks in the road;

For forts of safety;

For forms of friendship;

For forces, supernatural;

For forgone dreams;

For forsaken promises;

For forgivers—

They reach for the forgivers

So often and so much

They reach

For pardon’s touch.


The addicts among us, celebrate

The ones who walk twelve steps forward

And one step back

So often and so much

That they deeply and daringly reach

Despite despair;

Despite dependence;

Despite demoralization of their own making;

Despite detoxifications of their own taking;

Despite detours in the road;

Despite deafening dangers;

Despite deepening daunting friendships;

Despite demons, supernatural;

Despite delusions;

Despite decries from the naysayers;

Despite discouragement—

They reach despite the rest of us

So often and so much

They reach

Despite the reluctant pardon.


Maybe the addicted among us

Are good for us saints

For more often than not

They force us to see

To look, to gaze

On our own {co}dependency

On our own complacency

On our own common redundancy

Sins, we commit

Just as often

Just as much

Passing judgment

Praising the Pharisee

Placating the least of these

Pretending to be clean

While sipping on the whines of our flesh

Flirting with the world’s seductive allure

Reaching for serpent’s poison to hit like a drug’s needle, piercing our skin

Longing for all but that which truly

Satisfies


But do we reach?

Do I reach?

For the Highest Power

The Only One True God —

For forgiveness,

The Forgiver?

Reach, often and much

Or rather, ever or never—

For Pardon’s touch?

Am I so used to being {un}addicted

That I don’t thank my lucky stars

For the twelve steps forward

Walking with Jesus, toward the Cross?


Maybe the addicted can’t help themselves

Facing humility that feels like

Humiliation

Facing repentance that feels like

Reparations

Facing pain that feels like

Peace

Facing recovery that feels like

Redemption

Facing a group of strangers that feel like

Friends

Facing a room full of friends that feel like

Family

Facing a meeting of users that feel like

Forgivers


And maybe those of us who can help themselves

Should learn Prayer

Like it is our drug; our bottle; our high —

Accepting things we cannot change

Taking courage to change that which we can;

And wisdom, begging for Wisdom

To know the difference

—And all the while reaching—

So often and so much

For others,

For our great God,

For the forgivers

And for pardon’s touch.


Hi, my name is Sadie

And I’m a sinner

Some days, the addict

Some days, not

But all my days

Needing Jesus

His love

His healing

His sweet Spirit’s filling

His miraculous water to wine

His Living Water in new wineskins

Sipping on His mercies

Drinking deeply from the Fountain

Withdrawing with Him to the quiet

And finding Him to be

The One who reaches for me

Often and much

When I return, as addicts do

To that which harms—

He is my Healer

With Him, clean

And Jesus,

The Great Forgiver;

Pardon’s Touch.


No, I won’t raise a glass to the addict

Three cheers, too low a bar

Instead I will celebrate

The God of all ages

His love, much sweeter than wine

Sober-minded as I praise

The One who reaches for me,

O Love Divine!


10:11 pm 3.8.22

12:42 am 3.9.22


 

Late Night Inspirations:

Family history of strugglers with alcoholism/addictions

Volunteer Training at a Recovery facility

Friends in crisis from addiction

The Serenity Prayer

12 Steps

Lent

Theme of connection vs sobriety (linked video)

Theme of forgiveness

My own sins

Song of Solomon 1:2b

1 Peter 4:7; 5:8

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling hymn

Come Down, O Love Divine hymn


 

If you struggle with an ongoing addiction, or live with someone who does—you can find help at:


Twelve Steps

Alcoholics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous

Al-Anon (for Families)

Overeaters Anonymous

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration)

A good referral point for pornography addiction and other behavioral addictions












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