Sunday, December 15, 2013
We often get storms like this in the summer and I'm oddly energized by them. As light and dark battle it out across the sky I feel more alive, like I'm watching Creation unfold. I also know that rainbows are inevitable, and none are ever more vivid than at the juncture created by the passing storm.
My mind is always a jumble after a work day. As hard as I try, I can't leave the kids or the problems or the to-do list at school. Worse, every instance where I might have been kinder buzzes and bites like a mosquito with a vendetta. If I'm lucky I can clear most of it by the time I've gotten home and walked. If I'm not so lucky, I lug the whole load through a restless night and back to school the next day.
So the storm and the search for the rainbow were a welcome distraction on this day. A reminder that summer, both literal and figurative, really did exist, and will come again. As my eyes scanned the sky for color, the world expanded beyond school and my own limitations. When I first spotted a section of the vibrant arc in the distance, one end touching ground far away and the other swallowed by darkness, I smiled.
I drive home on country roads. At that time of day I often have them to myself. That made it easy to slow to a creep from time to time and scan the sky. I wasn't disappointed. The other half of the original section touched down right where my eyes searched. And before too long the color stretched up from both sides to meet in the middle, forming a perfect and complete arc. There was even a shadow of a second rainbow mirrored above the first.
The miracle of color at the intersection of light and dark never fails to fill me with wonder. I'm reminded of God's promise to Noah, but somehow that seems weak compared to the promise I feel with every rainbow given to me. And they all do feel like personal gifts.
As I continued my drive, and the storm traveled ever eastward, the rainbow danced and wavered and shifted. I lost it completely at one point. A little farther on it reappeared much closer, a short section, the bands of color fat and distinct. I realized I was driving toward it, wondered if I might go under it—or through it. A golden glow on the asphalt just ahead caught my eye. The rainbow ended on the road right in front of me. And it stayed there while I drew close and drove through, and then it was gone.
In a life abundant with grace and miracles, it's easy to take gifts for granted. Always to recognize them, and always grateful, but perhaps to not appreciate fully the love behind them. Often forgetting when the darkness threatens to overwhelm that light always returns. And so the Giver of gifts offers a moment like that one, with a rainbow just for me, promising to light the way unfailingly.