Home Let's Meet at Convention Empty Chairs, Full Heart

Empty Chairs, Full Heart

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I sat at the table waiting for someone to show up for the meeting. No one came. I’d felt angry before, but tonight was different. I was feeling afraid—afraid that this meeting would fall by the wayside as others had done through the years. Afraid that the people I had come to know and love through this small-but-mighty meeting were slowly slipping away from their commitment to the meeting, or from OA altogether.

I shook fear from my mind and turned my attention to completing the quarterly treasurer’s report. I recorded the Tradition Seven contributions for the quarter. I tallied up our contribution percentages: 60 for intergroup, 30 for the World Service Office, and 10 percent for our region. As I began writing the checks, I was reminded of the Fellowship of OA beyond my empty meeting room.

I wrote the check to intergroup, which caused me to think of the wonderful people who, like me, had served for years in one capacity or another at the intergroup level. Many of them had become my second family and my dearest friends as we shared our hearts and our hope at OA meetings. I also thought about other group representatives I’ve come to know, and the folks they represent. I whispered a prayer for each one.

I wrote the check to the World Service Office and thought of the first World Service Convention I attended. I was so blown away by the experience of meeting people from all over the world who were living a life of freedom from the bondage of compulsive eating. I can’t put into words the overwhelming feeling of unity that I experienced at that Convention as I stood in a room and joined hands with OA members from around the world. My mind went to the 2016 Convention in Boston, and I felt excitement and deep gratitude because I’ll have this opportunity again.

I wrote the check to our region and thought of the business assemblies I had attended as our region representative. I thought of the beautiful faces of those with whom I had served at conferences. I remembered their passion when they spoke, the time and energy they gave to their committee duties, and the joy of abstinence they displayed in their everyday living. I remembered the speakers I had heard at the regional conventions. I remembered seeing them return to the conventions year after year with smiles on their faces, sporting the same normal-sized bodies they did in previous years.

I began to silently thank my Higher Power for these wonderful people who touched my life in so many different ways. I began to ask that they experience peace and joy, and the acute knowledge that they are not alone. They had given those things to me, even as I sat in solitude in that meeting room. It seemed only fitting that I ask for those gifts to be returned to them.

— Anonymous

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