Things got very serious and emotional on radio this morning when a caller reached out looking for answers. Ed, a listener from Massachusetts, called into the show looking for help and guidance in his struggle with alcoholism. Ed had just quit his job as a bus driver because his withdrawal symptoms had endangered the kids. Glenn, a recovering alcoholic himself, did his best to put Ed on the right path, discussing how faith helped save his life and asking Ed to get himself to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting as soon as possible.
"Well, yesterday I lost my job because I promised myself that I would never jeopardize the kids. I'm a school bus driver. So I told them that I was quitting," Ed said. "Because of my shakes, and I was withdrawing really bad."
Ed admitted he had been drinking since the early morning, and was already quite drunk when he called into the show.
"Do you want to be sober?" Glenn asked.
"God yeah. Oh, God, yes."
"Well, you won't make it without two things. You won't make it without God, and you won't make it without AA," Glenn said.
"Here's the thing, the whole God thing, that's what I was calling about. I don't know that I believe in God," Ed said.
"Neither did I. Neither did I," Glenn said. "In fact, when I was in exactly your same shoes where I was trying to hold my sobriety, I couldn't. And I read a letter from Thomas Jefferson to his nephew Peter Carr, and it got to religion. And he said to Peter: If you're going to be a man, these are the things you have to know. And when it comes to religion, above all things, fix reason firmly in her seat, and question with boldness even the very existence of God. For if there be a God, he must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear."
What Jefferson was trying to tell Peter was that if there is a God, you will find him but you have to want to find him and be willing to look for him everywhere. Glenn asked Ed to look at the seeming coincidences that led to Ed making it on to the air to have a conversation.
"Ed, do you know how few calls I take? How long have you listened to this program?" Glenn said. "Don't appreciate the phone screener. Don't appreciate me. Don't appreciate anything. It's not a coincidence. Out of all the phone calls that come in, out of all of the times, out of all of the days, your phone call comes in today, and I decide today I'm going to take phone calls, and you're on the air. That's not a coincidence."
"Everything in your life, Ed, is a message, and here's what the message is: God is your father, whether you recognize him or not. He's your father. You can dress him any way you want. You can make him look any way you want, but it doesn't change him, it only changes our access to him, if you will, but it doesn't change him. He is our dad, and he always will be our dad. And he loves us no matter what we do. And there's nothing in your life that has happened to you that he hasn't been there the whole time. No matter what -- no matter what it has been. No matter how bad it's been to you or no matter what how bad it was that you did, he was there. So he already knows. There's no hiding from him."
"I wish I was as strong as you," Ed said.
"Well, you will be, Ed, if you choose to be, one day you will be," Glenn said. "I love you. Get to an AA meeting today. Would you hang up the phone and get to an AA meeting today. Would you do that?"
"I will do that. Yes, I will," Ed said.
After Ed hung up to go get help, Glenn took a minute to talk to the audience about the struggles we all face everyday.
"You're struggling with whatever you're struggling with. And you're looking at everybody else and saying, how do they do it? The answer: They don't. We can't judge people because we don't know what's going on in their lives.
We don't know what others are struggling with. But the best thing that we can do is just admit to ourselves, I can't make it. I can't make it on my own. I can't make it on my own. I'm going to find a way, but I can't compare myself to others, and I'm not going to be perfect. And I need others. And I'm not going to look at everybody else and say, oh, wow, they're so perfect because they're not. Nobody is. They're all struggling. Every single one of us is struggling with something deep and powerful and we don't even know it. We just need to be there for each other."
"Life is a hospital. We are all patients. There is only one doctor."