Thursday, September 24, 2009

Storms and Rainbows

Everyone loves a rainbow. We will stop in our tracks or try to capture one on film...sometimes amazed that it is either a full arc or a double rainbow. We know that rainbows mean something special, unusual, and beautiful.

Several groups have gravitated toward the rainbow for different reasons, including Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, gay rights activists, or the Walk to Emmaus crowd of the United Methodist Church. There's also the whole commercial thing with Rainbow Brite and those heinous toe socks we used to wear in the 80s, but I'll try not to dwell on that.

Rainbows often surprise us by how they appear randomly...but they never fail to awe me. Thinking back to how God planned them as a sign to Noah reminds me every time I see one that I need to think about the circumstances that prompted the rainbow in the first place.

There are times when storms come. We know this, and yet we are often surprised when they happen. Sometimes the storms are anticipated and predictable...and we have time to prepare ourselves for what may or may not be coming. We board up the windows of our heart, buy bread and water to wait it out, and we make plans in case the worst actually happens. And then other times...we have no notice, no experience, and no way to navigate the storm.

Oh, we may have our good sense, our faith, and our friends and family, but we are just completely stunned when we are standing on a rooftop of despair somewhere waiving our arms, or sleeping on a cot of depression no longer caring. We think of what we have lost...rather than what remains.

This past week, some of my Georgia brothers and sisters found themselves underwater...literally. What was left behind looked far more like mud...than a rainbow. Now that the storm waters are receding, and the reality of the storm has morphed into a review of the devastation, insurance claims, and rebuilding...those dealing with it are wondering how something as cleansing as water can be so incredibly destructive.

This week, there has been a lot of rain, and some additional water in the form of tears. Part of being of a certain age means that you are sometimes susceptible to a few internal storms. Some of which are of your own making...but others are the same triggers that you fall for every time like some big cosmic "pull my finger" joke...except that it isn't funny. Knowing that most people prefer that these moments are dealt with privately, I withdraw for self-preservation and wait for the storm to pass. Sometimes it is a quick shower, and then other sets in for days. Needless to say...I am now looking for a rainbow. Big time.

Right now, I am spending some quiet time. Some downtime including rest, reflection, and sadly...some remorse. And hopefully, very soon, I will wake up to a bright, sunny day and the clouds will lift. Because I also know that God has promised that he will bring a rainbow after every storm as a reminder. And for now...I am just watching the sky...and cleaning up a little mud. It will be fine...eventually.

1 comment:


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