Child Support

Last evening’s sky was a clear, translucent blue and clouds moved across as the sun was settling towards the horizon like a curtain about to be drawn after a scene on a stage.  The sun’s closing performance outlined each cloud in a thick ribbon of bright light as they exchanged places in the sky.

I stood and watched and called attention to it.  Sarah, my niece, said it was God’s light and so I shouted to the sky, “God, that is beautiful work!”

We needed to see God in it, especially after going with my sister to family court about child support.

I wanted to be by her side.  She has been by mine during some of those difficult and frightening times and to have that person there feels like you can remain standing, even though your knees are about to buckle.  I go looking for the beauty or the levity in the hard, and when it comes out, humor and sweetness is like cool water to what feels like a parched desert place.

We found our seats in the courtroom full of other nervous people who were there, like my sister, to publicly bare their private lives to the world, or at least to the strangers in the room.  Before the judge came in, the bailiff recited the courtroom rules about cell phones, drinks, food, and questions.  He smiled as he spoke and added some levity himself as if he knew it was his job to put everyone at ease with a little entertainment.  He said no one in the room was older than he and explained that at his age, this was a part-time job, that he also had a business he ran the other days of the week.

The atmosphere had become less strained and more informal so I asked how were we supposed to be able to judge whether he was the oldest in the room for he had not revealed his age.  He smiled, looked momentarily at the floor as if trying to choose how much he wanted to share, and then said he was in his sixties.  I asked about his business and if he had a card.  Obviously pleased, he came striding over while reaching into his shirt pocket, saying “I always have a card.”  As we entered into this conversation about his computer forensics business and cyber detective background, I realized that the room was listening.  The conversation could have taken place in a coffee shop or Radio Shack, but was in a tough room where people were having difficulty not being totally focused on their reason for being there.

As we spoke together, the room relaxed a little more.  Maybe they forgot where they were and thought they were in a coffee shop, too, just overhearing a regular conversation.  Everyone was reminded that there was life outside of what they were currently experiencing – like when a close friend or family member has died and you feel like the only person in the world who knows and feels the loss and you want everyone else to be aware, but they are ignorantly living like it’s a regular day on earth when it’s not.  And then something happens and you remember that there is life, and a lot of it is good.

My sister survived and once again moved forward in great strides towards being her own person, being healed and strengthened by God in the process.  And it was like I could see the sun’s light around her like a ribbon as God shed His love and grace on her soul.  She is His child and He supports her like no other ever could.  He’s never late on His “child support” and always whispers exactly what we need at any moment.  We just have to listen and be watchful, trusting Him to be there.

And I thought of the sunset and my sister’s progress and said, “God, that is beautiful work!”

~~~

(c) Robin Lawrimore, 2010 – all rights reserved.

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