The Long-Ignored, and Importance of, Dr. Bob’s “Faith” Remarks
For decades, an interview of Dr. Bob by D.J. Defore in the September 1933 issue of “Your Faith” Magazine, at page 84, seemed to lie unnoticed, undiscovered, and virtually “lost” to many a researcher’s eyes. But what a treasure of simple statements, powerful teaching, and clear-cut faith in God, it was. And here are a few comments attributed to Dr. Bob:
But Dr. X handled his liquor problem differently. He came close enough to degradation to see how the jaws of hell were reaching out for him. But then something interfered and saved him.
What saved his life and reputation? What force made him into a new man? It was simply religion, brought home to him in a way he could use it. Simply the new habit of living his religion, and the discovery that he could utilize the power of prayer.
As long as you conceal your difficulties, no one can help you. But once you bring your trouble out in the open, you can invite help and encouragement from friends. And you can benefit by strengthening the power of prayer.
What enabled him to hold fast to his resolution was the discovery that he, who had just started to climb back to sobriety and respectability, had the ability to help other desperate and disheartened drunks to live decent lives too. In fact, that’s a big part of the cure. . . . Forty-three of them, no less, owe their new lives to him.
When a drunk in the hospital starts to sober up, Dr. X closes the door and starts to talk to him. “I know where you hide your bottles,” he’ll say. “I know every sneaky little thing you do to get liquor when you’re not supposed to have any. I’ve been there myself. And I want to tell you, my fine young friend, it’s getting you nowhere. You’re rotten. Your’re ashamed of yourself. Not let’s do something about it.”
So there in that white, silent hospital room they read the Bible together. Then they pray. First, the Doctor, then, falteringly, the man himself. He finds his voice gains in confidence. He finds it easy to talk to God, and talk out loud. He finds a huge load is lifted off his chest. . . He becomes enthusiastic and eager about going straight. He promises to read the Bible, and Dr. X leaves him. . . . And then, because he knows the fight the sick man is going through, Dr. X comes back in time to bring new comfort and new cheer and to again call forth the searching and every-available help of prayer..
“No, I don’t dare let you tell about this,” Dr. X said to me when I asked him for a signed interview. “We can’t publicize these cures.”
“Do you remember when Christ turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched me?” And some woman confessed she had touched his robe because she wanted to be cured? Christ felt some of his power pass out from him in that touch. It’s the same way with helping people.
“Moreover, I’m not sure we could set up a sanitarium and cure people effectively in any wholesale manner. I’m convinced this idea has to grow, one cure at a time.”
Then he handed me this final thought. “I have found that no one can be permanently happy unless he lives in harmony with the rules set down in the Good Book,” he said. “Try it some time! You don’t need to wait till you’re down and out before you ask for help. There’s help waiting for you right now, if you just ask God to help you.”