A self-described alcoholic called into Glenn Beck's radio program Thursday, breaking down in tears as he told Beck: "Your faith in God is something that I desperately need right now."
"What's happening, Ed?" Beck asked the caller, who said he was from Massachusetts.
"Well, yesterday I lost my job because I promised myself that I would never jeopardize the kids," Ed said. "I'm a school bus driver. So I told them that I was quitting."
Pat Gray, Beck's co-host, asked: "How were the kids being jeopardized?"
"Because my shakes, and I was withdrawing really bad," Ed said. "So what I want -- I guess what I want everyone to know is, how Glenn -- he needs to be more -- he needs to tell more about his struggles. I'm sorry, guys. I'm -- "
"Good for you for quitting and taking yourself out of the situation," Beck said. "Are you currently using alcohol, or can you tell me your situation?"
"Yeah. I'm actually really drunk right now," the caller said.
"And how long have you been drinking?" Beck asked.
"I started about 6 o'clock this morning," Ed said, adding that he was recently sober for one year, but fell off the wagon.
"Do you want to be sober?" Beck asked the man.
"God yeah. Oh, God, yes," the man said, starting to cry. "I'm sorry."
Beck proceeded to ask Ed if he was married, which quickly made him cry harder.
"Yes. To the most beautiful woman in the world," he said. "I can't understand how she puts up with me..."
Beck told Ed he was glad he called, and gave him two pieces of advice: "You won't make it without God, and you won't make it without AA."
"The whole God thing, that's what I was calling about," Ed said. "I don't know that I believe in God."
"Neither did I," Beck, who struggled with alcoholism in the past, said. "In fact, I was in exactly your same shoes, where I was trying to hold my sobriety, I couldn't. And I read a letter from Thomas Jefferson to his nephew Peter Carr, and it got to religion. He said to Peter: '...When it comes to religion, above all things, fix reason firmly in her seat, and question with boldness even the very existence of God. For if there be a God, he must surely rather honest questioning over blindfolded fear.'"
Beck said once you open your eyes to the possibility that everything is pointing to God, you begin to dismiss coincidences.
"Ed, do you know how few calls I take?" Beck said. "Do you know how few calls I take a day, a week, a month. Maybe -- let's be generous -- 15 a month. ... So do you know how many thousands of phone calls we get, and I take 15 calls, and yours is one of them. What are the odds?"
"Yeah. I appreciate that," Ed remarked.
"No, no. Don't appreciate -- don't appreciate the phone screener. Don't appreciate me. Don't appreciate anything," Beck said. "It's not a coincidence. Out of all the phone calls that come in, out of all of the times, out of all of the days, your phone call comes in today. And I decide today I'm going to take phone calls. That's not a coincidence."
Beck said everything in life is a message that "God is your father, whether you recognize him or not. ... And he loves us no matter what we do."
His voice still shaking, Ed remarked: "I wish I was as strong as you."
"You will be, Ed," Beck said. "If you choose to be, one day you will be."
Before the call ended, Beck told Ed he loved him and asked him to seek help from Alcoholics Anonymous today. Ed said he would.
Not long after Ed hung up, Beck took another call from a man who said he was in the parking lot with a bottle of vodka, about to sneak in a drink during his lunch break, when he heard Ed's call. He said it was the "total wake-up call" he needed.
Beck was also flooded with emails and messages on social media from people across the country, who shared how much the call impacted them as well.
"It's so amazing how all of us are so connected ... and you just don't see the ripple effect in lives," Beck said. "I mean, if there's one thing about God, he is efficient. He is just going to, you know, take care of several problems at once."
Beck added that he wanted to fulfill a promise he made, to point out miracles when they occur.
"The odds that Ed makes it on the air are so astronomically low, you would never take those odds," Beck said. "If you make one change in your life, it's that. Do not dismiss coincidence."
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