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"What does God look like?"  she asked her grandmother. 

"God looks like the flowers in the Springtime, the blue sky in the Summer, the golden-red leaves in the Fall, the white-crystal snowflakes in the Winter," her grandmother said.  And she died.  It was God's will.

Her life was filled with anger, and self-doubt and running from reality.  And abuse.  Mental. Emotional.  Sexual.  She married and divorced.  She ran into herself, everywhere she turned. 

"What does God look like?"  she sarcastically asked.  "What God?"  "Is there a God?"  And disappeared behind another wall of delusion and numbness, punctuated by jail cells and courtrooms.  And then an innocent, worn book  offered a glimpse of what God may look like or feel like to some characters in that book.  But she was only a witness to a possible presence of God.

But a Presence, nonetheless, in her life caused her to wish to stop running.  To not be the cause of all the chaos in her life.  But a lot of damage had been done in earlier days.  She had some debt to pay to society, because of her using.  But all the time, she was forming her own mental image of what God represented.  Of how He worked in her life, sometimes through others.

She stopped wondering what God looked like.  She was living her life off of blind faith.  And belief that a Power greater than herself was restoring her sanity . . . restoring her to society as a happy, healthy, productive woman.  She sought the guidance of another woman just like her . . . only a little farther along the path of a more stable journey.  But her troubles were not over.  She had a daughter.  Who was coming into the age of maturity.  And an ex-husband, who had custody of this child.  Her addiction-ridden past life was thrown up to her again and again.  Her faith did not falter.  But she still did struggle at times.

She was thrown off center when the God in others disappointed her.  She did not cut them slack.  She was angered when their "godliness" faltered.  She wanted her daughter back.  She wanted things now.  But she kept steady. 

But then things took another turn.  Instead of a minimum incarceration, God placed an authoritative woman in her life who gave her another chance.  Like all the times before.  And then the time came to ask for a less-restrictive sentence by the authoritative branch of society.  It was by some strange co-incidence that the same woman was to place judgment on her most recent request of yet a freer life.

The courtroom was silent except for the questioning of the lawyer and the prosecutor.  Again and again, testimony revealed a changed person.  She had changed from the inside.  She was doing things according to what God had intended for her to be doing.  Everybody who touched her life agreed to that.

God stepped into that courtroom, and mouthed the words of the authoritative judge.  God watched as she had tears in her eyes . . . not for the request that was to be granted or denied--but for the fact that she was seeing and realizing clearly for the first time what total surrendering to God and God's way of life really felt like.  By surrendering her control, God granted her soul another New Start. 

Her guidance counselor on her journey watched the proceedings in the courtroom.  Her eyes filled with tears, as she realized what was happening.  Once again, her own faith in the Higher Power was heightened. 

It was over.  She moved towards her friend, as she left her lawyer's side.  She reached out to hug her spiritual advisor.  She said, "I think I felt the Presence of God just now."  Her advisor directed her thoughts outward towards the jubilant young woman in her arms,

"This is what God looks like." But not a word had been spoken. At least not verbally.  The three of them broke the circle of love, and God "left" the courtroom as quietly as He entered.

Dedicated to Pam Grubbs

by her sponsor, Amy Allison