Saturday, March 27, 2010


Four prisms hang in our living room window. Low early spring sunlight shines through them, spattering various surfaces red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Consider the mechanics of differing wavelengths producing something visible. It’s an amazing concept. Reflections off a surface traveling through the air, through the human lens, stimulating cone cells on the retina, and interpreted as color by the brain.

The first rainbow was a promise. God sent it after He flooded the world in judgement of sin. Only Noah and his family remained alive. The rainbow reminded them He would never flood the entire earth again in judgement. A comforting thought. Most of the time we don’t even think about that when we see a rainbow, just that it’s pretty and somewhat uncommon.

I visited a family friend, Lois, in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania as a youngster. Her concrete block home had a wall of windows on one side, looking down a hill, over a row of trees, a river, then New Jersey. Angry cloud and rain showers moved across the ground in the distance across the river. Flashing lightening in a darkened field, with incongruous sunny patches on either side as far as you could see. When the storm finally moved on, the sky shone in it’s wake with an awesome double rainbow.

Rainbows follow after storms. You might get a smaller imitation in the mist of a sprinkler on a bright summer day, but the real deal comes after real rains. Just when we’ve gotten discouraged and wonder if there’s hope. That there are no promises left. It comes when we need it. If we just look for it.

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