‘Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.’ (Maya Angelou)
I can’t create a rainbow. I can only witness its radiant beauty. A rainbow itself is created by white light, refracted as it strikes droplets of water in the air, often seen most vividly during or after rainfall. Some of the most stunning I’ve seen have been in Scotland where sunshine and rain are common together, with bright-coloured rainbows emerging like curvaceous, prismatic streamers in their midst.
The Bible depicts rainbows as signs of spiritual-existential promise, of hope, initiated by God. Again, this isn't something I can make happen. I can only witness it, experience it, be awestruck by it. It’s something, or rather Someone, who clings to me amidst the violent storms, raging winds and torrential downpours of my life. Often, quite literally, this has been the only reason why I'm still alive today.
Sometimes, I only perceive or discern the traces of a rainbow after the event. It’s like a mysterious pattern that appears, by faith, and is only visible from a distance. I went to theological school for 3 years. Inexplicably, my fees and living expenses were fully-paid. I remember, however, sitting on the side of my bed, alone and in near-despair. Studying God like studying physics felt like a travesty.
Years later, the hidden seeds sown through that experience gradually came to fruition. I can now see the deep wisdom in that youthful decision, that strange prompt of divine opportunity that had felt so hard for me at the time. It was a period that had included a broken engagement, a snapped shin bone, tests for throat cancer and many other painful trials. Yet still, somehow...a rainbow appeared.
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