Over the Hump 05/15/2019

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing an older lady by the name of Gert Behenna give a talk entitled "God is not Dead" in which she shared her life story of great wealth, acute alcoholism, two failed marriages, two kids, one suicide attempt (forty seconal's on an empty stomach).


A psychiatrist suggested that she meet a couple who had had similar lives and had changed. She made sure she was drunk when she met them, but she remembered one thing they said to her. "Gert, it seems you have a lot to carry, why don't you let God help you carry it." Later at home she recalled those words, fell to her knees and said, "God if you are there, I could sure use some help."


That began a process of change in her life. Next, she was introduced to Rev. Sam Shoemaker, an Episcopal Minister, who just so happened to be the one who helped Bill Wilson and Dr. Smith write the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. So between her new found faith and her involvement in A.A. She wrote a book "The Late Liz", cut the record of her story, and traveled all over the country telling that story.


A couple examples of her humility, she said she used to complain when she used a dirty restroom somewhere and even complained to God. One day in a restroom that was not to clean she complained once to often. She heard God say, Gert, I use that bathroom too, perhaps you should clean it for the next person. (She did from then on). Another quip, "sin is like kleenex, as one puts up another follows right behind it".


I had the honor of bringing her to the town I was serving in, to share her story. She arrived late to the motel, and I was nervous for we had a crowd that would be waiting. She said, please go get me a bottle of water and a pack of cigarettes (she still did smoke) and handed me a bill to pay for the items. I told her everything was on us, but in her style, she explained. She would pay for her own defects. 


Later in the hall she touched the lives of many with her story, and I was one of them.