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Random Thoughts About My Friend, Kelly Clark

Brother Clark Changes Careers

On March 19, 1992, Brother Clark, unbeknownst to him, started a new career.  He went to work for God.  While he thought he was in the outhouse of life, little did he realize that God had better plans for him and would lead him to the penthouse of life.  Although he was kicking and screaming, he did not know he was going to go to the penthouse.

Before March 19, 1992, Kelly Wayne Clark, like most of us alcoholics, focused on his plans.  God, in His infinite and all-knowing wisdom, had better plans for Brother Clark than U.S. Senator, Governor and, who knows – President.

You see, Brother Clark was, is and will always be one of God’s special children.  God gave Brother Clark too many talents just to be a U.S. Senator, Governor, or President.  God was getting tired and losing patience with the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, Mormons and other institutions of trust who had the responsibility to take care of children.  God also had some special projects for Brother Clark.  These special projects would include: (i) God would send to him to AA to help sponsor and help change their lives; (ii) help non-AA members find peace and serenity on life’s journey; (iii) contribute to our spiritual understanding and development; and (iv) build a law firm based on core spiritual principals of family, do the next right thing, love God, love your employees, provide quality legal services, and to contribute in our own small way to make Earth a better place.

At all times prior to March 19, 1992 (lawyer talk), God was having trouble with Brother Clark’s cooperation in his acceptance of God’s plan for him.  In March of 1992, Brother Clark thought God threw him the knock-out punch and he, then being in the prison of his self-centered skull, thought he had heard the ten-count, that the lights were out, and the prize of the great life was never to be his.

As Brother Clark learned in his many years of AA life, God never throws the knock-out punch.  Yes, God did severely hammer Brother Clark, but that is God’s way of shaping some of his special children like Brother Clark to carry the message.

Of course, at this time and at all times, God had knowledge and availability of every resource to shape Brother Clark into a spiritual man and to do God’s special work.  I am so grateful that God never asked me where to send Brother Clark in March of 1992.  I would have recommended the Trappist Monetary at Lafayette, the theology department at a university or working with the poor in a third-world country.

Despite being one of the most brilliant people I have ever met, God sent Brother Clark to “spirituality for dummies” a.k.a Alcoholics Anonymous.  As Brother Clark and fellow AA members learned, God’s plans are always so much better than our own plans. Well, Brother Clark took to AA like a dog to a bone.  After March 19, 1992, Clark resigned as the General Manager of the Universe.  Over time, he decided that God was going to be the director of his life.  God was the principal, Brother Clark was the agent.  God was the father. He was the child.

For over 20 years, Brother Clark commenced a conscientious effort to work the 12 Steps of AA in his daily life.

Whom did Brother Clark become over his 20 year AA journey?  How would we best describe Brother Clark? In paraphrasing from the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous, Brother Clark is best described as follows:

  1. He now had a new employer (God);
  2. In that Brother Clark realized that God was all-powerful, God would provide him with what he needed (note the word “need”) and not what Brother Clark wanted as long as: (i) Brother Clark stayed close to him; and (ii) Brother Clark performed his work well;
  3. Brother Clark became less and less interested in himself, his “little” plans and designs;
  4. He became more interested in seeing what he could contribute to life;
  5. As this new sense of power flowed in from God, he began to finally have and enjoy peace of mind;
  6. He became able to face life successfully (not in a material sense, but as a very successful human being);
  7. As he became conscious and felt God’s presence in his life, Brother Clark commenced to lose his fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter; and,
  8. He was “reborn” as he changed how he would think.  He realized that his best thinking was the source of his problem because how you think is how you act.

Brother Clark became one of God’s special agents.  He did God’s important work so well.  He touched so many lives.  He lived a spiritual life, he died a spiritual death.

Brother Clark accomplished so many great things in his short time with us.  He touched and impacted my life greatly.  Like others, he contributed greatly to my being a better father, father-in-law, brother, uncle, employer, friend and human being.

One of Brother Clark’s greatest achievements was how, in a twelve month span, he conducted himself in Sabine’s journey to death and his own journey to death.  Brother Clark “surrendered” to God and God’s plan on March 19, 1992 (his sobriety date) and entered God’s Hall of Fame on December 17, 2013.

He always was one of God’s special children.  God loved him so much that he gave Brother Clark so many talents.  Fortunately, for Brother Clark and for all of us who had the privilege of knowing him, he surrendered his will and ego to God on March 19, 1992.   March 19, 1992 was the day the world became a better place.  That was the day Brother Clark started to do God’s special work, which he did so very well.

December 17, 2013 is the day Kelly Wayne Clark, a.k.a. Brother Clark, entered the real Hall of Fame – God’s Hall of Fame.  Brother Clark did so well that God waived the five-year waiting period for induction into God’s Hall of Fame.

I am sad.  I am going to miss my friend, but I know he is God’s garden.

Pebble Beach
There is a very famous “Pebble Beach” at the Pescadero, on the California coast.  The lone line of whit surf comes up with its everlasting roar, and rattles and thunders among the stones on the shore.  They are caught in the arms of the pitiless waves, and tossed and rolled, and rubbed together, and ground against the sharp-grained cliffs. Day and night forever the ceaseless attrition goes on – never any rest. And the result?

Tourists from all the world flock thither to gather the round and beautiful stones.  They are laid up in cabinets; they ornament the parlor mantels.  But go yonder, around the point of the cliff that breaks off the face of the sea; and up in the quiet cove, sheltered from the storms, and lying ever in the sun, you shall find abundance of pebbles that have never been chosen by the traveler.

Why are these left all the years through unsought? For the simple reason that they have
escaped all the turmoil and attrition of the waves, and the quiet and peace have left them as they found them, rough and angular and devoid of beauty.  Polish comes through trouble.

Since God knows what niche we are to fill, let us trust Him to shape us to it.  Since He
knows what work we are to do, let us trust Him to drill us to the proper preparation.

God’s Hall of Fame
This crowd on earth

They soon forget
The heroes of the past.
They cheer like mad
Until you fall
And that’s how long you last.
But God does not forget
And in his Hall of Fame
By just believing in his Son
Inscribed you’ll find your name.

I tell you, friends, I would not trade
My name however small
Inscribed up there
Beyond the stars
In that celestial hall
For any famous name on earth
Or glory that they share.
I’d rather be an unknown here
And have my name up there. God’s Garden

God looked around His Garden and
found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the
earth, and saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you and
lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.
He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never
get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting
rough, and the hills were hard to climb.
So He closed your weary eyelids,
and whispered “Peace be thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you, but
you didn’t go alone.
for part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

An Old Irish Benediction

May God sleep on your pillow,
May He hold you in the hollow of his hand,
May the roads rise with you,
Fair weather to your heels,
May the wind be ever at your back,
And May you be a long time in Heaven,
Before the Devil knows you’re gone.

Faith, Family and Friends
Give me family, faith and friends; they’re all I’ll ever love
They’re all I’ll crave from the crib to the grave and all I’ll bring above.
Ge me family, faith and friends, above prosperity
For wealth untold and fleeting gold do not appeal to me.

Give me family, faith and friends, not notoriety
To have a name with worldly fame does not compare you see.
Give me family, faith and friends; They’re my priority
I’ll be well known among my own and rich I’ll surly be.

The Grief Process

To let ourselves wholly grieve our losses is how we surrender to the process of life and recovery.  Some experts call the Twelve Steps a “program for dealing with our losses, a program for dealing with our grief.”

How do we grieve? Usually with a great deal of resistance.  Often with anger and attempts to negotiate. Ultimately, by surrendering to the pain.

The grief process is a five-stage process: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and, finally acceptance.  That is how we grieve; that is how we accept; that is how we forgive; that is how we respond to the many changes that live throws our way.

Although this five-step process looks tidy on paper, it is not tidy in life. We do not move through it in a compartmentalized manner.  We usually flounder through, kicking and screaming, with much back-and-forth movement – until we reach that peaceful state called acceptance.

When we talk about “unfinished business” from our past, we are usually referring to losses about which we have not completed grieving.  We are talking about being stuck somewhere in the grief process.  Usually, for adult children and co-dependents, the place where we become stuck is denial.  Passing through denial is the first and most dangerous stage of grieving, but is also the first step and most dangerous state of grieving, but it is also the first step toward acceptance.

We can learn to understand the grief process and how it applies to recovery.  Even good changes in recovery can bring loss and, consequently, grief.  We can learn to help ourselves and others by understanding and becoming familiar with this process.  We can learn to fully grieve losses, feel our pain, accept, and forgive, so we can feel love and joy.

Today, God, help me open myself to the process of grieving my losses.  Help me allow myself to flow through the grief process, accepting all stages so that I might achieve peace and acceptance in my life.  Help me to learn to be gentle with myself and others while we go through this very human process of healing.