Have you ever seen God? by Joan LaViolette

photo of Redwood TreesMy husband (Ray) and I took a day trip to Armstrong Redwoods recently. We walked among those majestic trees, enjoying the blooming wood sorrels and trilliums. I am amazed that wild flowers can grow in the shadows of the Redwoods. We finished our walk feeling at one with God.
We ventured into Guerneville – a little town I always enjoy because it is a very diverse place. I always meet interesting people there – people I feel pulled to pray for. We stopped at a coffee shop to refresh ourselves. We were enjoying the moment talking and laughing when a younger man (appeared to be homeless) sat by us. I smiled and said, “Hello”. He looked at us and pointing to my earrings (which were crosses that day), asked me if I had ever seen God.
“Of course,” I replied. “I see God in the eyes of everyone I meet and I see him in the love that surrounds me.” He looked up at me and nodded. Then turning to my husband, the young man asked him the same question. Ray thought for a moment and replied, “I haven’t seen him but I have felt him. When I was in the war in Korea, I did not want to come out alive. God brought me out for he had other plans for me.” The stranger looked at Ray and asked if there really was a Korea. Ray said, “Yes, and I have souvenirs to prove it,” as he pointed to the bullet wound scars on his legs. The young man shook Ray’s hand and said, “Thank you”. This young man thought Korea was a fairy tale.
The man looked at us and said,  ”You both look so happy and you really seem to enjoy your lives.” We agreed and said it was because God was in our hearts. He told us his story about how unhappy he was and very troubled. I told him I would pray that the peace of God would enter his heart and bring him the joy we all deserve. He got up to leave, put his hand on my shoulder and said,  ”Thank you”.
I will never forget the quizical look in his eyes as he left. It came to me that he had probably thought that God was a fairy tale too. Maybe God had used us that day to be witness to his love. I have been praying for this man ever since that day. I pray that he will find the peace that only God can bring him. I pray for all the loney and troubled people who do not know the peace, joy, and love of God in their hearts.
I feel so honored to do this work for God. Maybe a little light went on in this man’s soul today. Maybe a question he had was answered. How awesome to see God work in this way in this little town! So now my question to you is, “Have you ever seen God?” I would love to hear your answers. You can reach me here at the Journey Center.
Blessings to you, Joan
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