Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” – Galatians 6:1
Of all the steps, the twelfth is my favorite. It is the “Hey, me too!” step, the one that is practiced just by sharing your own experience, strength and hope with another human being who believed they were truly alone.
Have you ever been anointed in oil? The first time one of my sisters in Christ prayed over me and anointed me with oil, I wanted to stop her and tell her that she was wasting oil on the wrong girl. But then I remembered that Jesus similarly washed the feet of his favorite twelve common sinners, and not those of the High Priests. He is just the coolest that way, always rooting for (and honoring) the underdog.
I love the anointing with oil. Unlike water blessed by priests that evaporates quickly, oil blessed by Holy Spirit lingers and lingers.
It is messy and difficult to control.
It releases Heavenly fragrance all day long.
If it gets on your clothes, they are stained. It cannot easily be washed out.
If it gets in your hair, forget about it. You are a greaser straight out of the 1950’s until the next shampoo.
If you touch another human being with the same hand that has been anointed, they too carry the softness and scent on their person.
Step Twelve is a blessed, oily step.
Having worked through steps 1-11, we have become ready to receive our divine appointment to serve other addicts, and by doing so, serve Jesus.
We have faced down demons, cast them out, learned more about ourselves, owned our own mess, and made amends whenever doing so would not harm us or others. We worked hard, but frankly, recovery work without Step Twelve is a practice in Dry Drunkenness.
And Spiritual awakenings are not dry affairs. They are drenching discoveries that open us up to truly love others – the underdogs.
We cannot ‘fix’ anyone. We are simply beggars showing other beggars where we found bread.
If you are walking with the Rabbi Jesus in your recovery life, you are already anointed.
He hasn’t blessed the wrong person by reaching you. You are the only one who can carry your experience, strength and hope to the hurting.
Do you remember how hard it was to content with Step One? Somebody right this minute is cowering against it.
It’s messy, isn’t it? But quenching, life-affirming.
You reek of Heaven. It’s all over you, lingering. Touch someone else with the same hand that was touched by the disciple who loved you when you couldn’t yet love yourself. Really that’s all it’s about. But it’s everything.
Pay it forward.