Working The Fifth Step
Sam had completed the fourth step. He had painstakingly made a list of all his defects of character. The list was long. He had committed many acts he was ashamed of during his years of debauchery.
But the prospect of working the fifth step filled him with dread.
He was expected to admit to God, to himself and to another human being the exact nature of his wrongs. It was one of the tools to achieve sobriety.
The thought of baring his soul to another human was terrifying.
What would his sponsor think of him once his secrets were revealed? Had anyone else ever been guilty of the despicable acts he had committed?
Still, he was desperate not to drink and the fifth step was accepted as part of the process of staying sober. He was willing to try anything.
“I was unfaithful to my marriage vows not just once but many times.”
“I slept with my best friend’s wife.”
“I lied to my parents.”
“I stole from my employer.”
He watched his sponsor’s face as he listed his transgressions. The evil deeds gushed out of him like water from a faucet.
Each time he paused his sponsor told of one of his own misdeeds. Often these transgressions mirrored his own. Some were worse. The parallel was astonishing. There was no judgment, no condemnation.
Sam was beginning to believe his sins were no worse than the sins of others. After all, he was a human being and susceptible to the weakness of the flesh.
But the worst was yet to come.
Finally he came to the act that shamed him the most. The unforgivable sin! It was inconceivable anyone would respect him once they knew. He would be shunned like a leper.
“When I was a young man, I had sex with a chicken,” he confessed.
He watched his sponsor’s eyes, waiting for the film of revulsion that was bound to appear.
His sponsor did not blink.
“What happened to the chicken?”
“Oh, it went back to the barnyard with the other chickens.”
“That’s good,” his sponsor said. “Mine died.”