Compare the similarities between the iconic AA print [taken from a painting] and the Gospel of John (11:44).

The Man on the Bed, (circa 1956) 
[Image courtesy of G.S.O. of A.A.]

Many consider the two men sitting in chairs aside the bed are the first two A.A.s, Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith, while the man on the bed represents the third member of A.A., Bill Dotson. The painting is a representation that fateful meeting mid-1935.

Isn’t it the case that addicts are ‘bound’ by addiction? A member of the fellowship once said to me: “Kevin, you may not have been to prison, but you have probably been a prisoner of your mind”. It’s good that we hear such things, from time-to-time; and you know, all people are imprisoned by their mind, at one time or another. We are told that Jesus was emotional and ‘wept’ at the news of his friends’ death (Jn 11:35). How fortunate to have an empathetic friend in Jesus? Of course, we are not Jesus and we know that we can “carry the message but not the alcoholic”.

What a great witness we have in Bill and Bob’s meeting with Bill D; they went as a pair just as Jesus’ disciples were sent, in pairs (Mk 6:7 and Lk 10:1). Addiction is powerful, more so than a single person. The two sober men have an asset that cannot be gained by any study other than the ‘school-of-hard-knocks’ they have their story, which the addict can take or leave. They are not there to cram anything down the suffering addict’s throat, they have a simple message of recovery and a sober outlook. Bill W and Bob S are walking-the-walk, and Bill D followed suit. In that iconic image The Man on the Bed, the third man is half up;

“Untie him and let him go.” [Clipart courtesy of FCIT]

In this biblical image some bandages still cling to Lazarus as he comes forth from the tomb. There is no permanent cure for those obsessions and compulsions which ‘deaden-the-spirit’. Any one of us can fall into this slumber like existence which ‘binds’ our spirit, please God, it doesn’t kill us. To be addicted is to be ‘spiritually dead’, and power is needed to break the bonds of addiction; more power than is available to one man. We need fellowship with those who have walked-the-walk. Holy Spirit, keep our eyes focused on the gift of sobriety so that we may avoid the bondage of addiction, help us to remember who we are, so that our egos do not open the door to active addiction. AMEN.