St. Helen’s Daily Lenten Devotional
God, dismayed at humanity’s wickedness, vows to ‘blot out from the earth’ all created beings and brings a flood to destroy them. Only Noah and his kin, and all the two-by-twos, survived. As the waters receded God put a rainbow in the sky as the sign of his holy promise that he would never again destroy the earth with raging waters. (Genesis Chapters 6-9) It is a familiar story, often the subject for nursery décor and multi piece toys for toddlers.
But how do you describe a rainbow to someone who is blind or simply has never seen the phenomena? Do you talk about the colours ‘of the rainbow’, or the fact it appears when both rain and sunshine are in evidence? Do you mention the smell of the newly watered soil or the sound of dripping water? You can opt for the scientific explanation but how do you describe the feeling of hope a rainbow generates? How do you convey the joy it brings?
When you think about it this is true of many of God’s special effects…the aurora borealis, the Milky Way; snowflakes, each one unique, drifting gently or snow bales, rolling across a field as if by unseen snow people sculptors; the still waters of a lake reflecting trees, clouds, the full moon…
When you think about it, it may be why we sometimes struggle with sharing our faith. How do you convey, not theology, but the essence of what it means to know that you are loved, that you walk the Christian path with a Person who is always with you, who nurtures your whole life and calls you to a higher purpose? Certainly our words and actions, our attitudes and relationships indicate which path we are on (or should!) but how can we talk about our own multifaceted, multisensory relationship with God that will inspire others to want to experience the phenomena? Can we find the courage to take them by the hand, and show them what ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ looks like for a disciple of Christ?
My Heart Leaps Up: The Rainbow
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.William Wordsworth