The Bag Lady


Hey Partners & Friends,


She wore several layers of soiled tattered clothing, a raggedy old stocking cap, and pulled some type of shopping cart. The cart packed with probably everything she possessed, a bag lady.


I saw her several times as I made my way to work through the streets of NYC. She was always so intense, very busy, seemingly on an important mission of some kind, walking rapidly from one corner to the next to direct traffic, like a traffic cop. Apparently she had taken on this job as her responsibility and she was serious about it.

Her own life obliviously suffering from serious dysfunction, she desperately needed to be able to control something in her world.

She had chosen a monumental task to be sure, directing traffic on the streets of downtown NYC is not a simple thing. Scowling, waving her arms, pointing at cars, motioning for them to turn, flailing really, and throwing up her hands as a signal to STOP! She would get more and more demonstrative as she became increasingly frustrated with the futility of her efforts. None of the drivers were paying a bit of attention to her, most didn’t even see her. But here’s the sinister irony, occasionally a vehicle actually did stop or turn as she directed. It had nothing to do with her frantic efforts.  It was simply because the signal light happened to match up with her dramatic gestures. The cruelty of this illustration lies in the fact that when this happened it gave her the impression she was in control! The reality being, she was totally powerless to affect the traffic on the streets of NY, it was unmanageable.


Virtually all of us have areas in our lives that are somewhat like the streets of NY, unmanageable, out of our control where we are powerless to change. At times we think we have control because occasionally circumstances line up with our efforts but the truth is we can not manage at all. It’s like a cruel joke, ultimately the hurt, habit or hang-up prevails once again. So we garner up our strength and go to the next streetcorner and do it all over again.


Celebrate Recovery gives people a place to go other than the same old failed behavior, a way to actually change things. The very first step of CR is;

 “We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.” Unless we able to take this step we find ourselves on the street corner of our lives desperately trying to direct traffic.

As we walk the road to recovery we learn how to turn these areas over to the only Higher Power able to help us, Jesus Christ! Where we consciously choose to commit all our life and will to Christ’s care and control.

There is an awfully lot of traffic out there for us to manage on our own. In fact it is a monumental task, impossible without Jesus.


Thanks for helping us share this message!


In Christ all things become new,

Jim & Pam


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