A brilliant rainbow – and then a rainbow echo – stayed in the sky over us for a long time – it’s estimated to have remained bright and visible for at least 30 minutes. It was something to behold. There may have been previous rainbows that have been so brilliant and colorful, but I don’t remember anything like Monday’s bright beautiful colors.
There’s something about a rainbow, don’t you think? It really doesn’t matter how many you’ve seen in your lifetime, they still inspire a sense of awe and a jolt of happiness. Even for the many of us who have learned in school what causes them – you know, reflection of sunshine on raindrops against a darkened sky.
No, rainbows are more than what we explain them to be. They lift the heart and when we see them they stop us in our tracks. The first impulse is to share them with someone else. Look, we say to people we run into –look at that rainbow will you ? Now that there are cell phones with cameras, the rainbow can be documented and saved and showed to others.
On Tuesday the rainbow was a topic of conversation everywhere in town. “DID you see the rainbow? Wasn’t it something?” Men and women stopping wherever they found themselves to talk about and share in a sense of awe.
It’s wonderful to share a sense of awe with each other. Awe is a feeling that takes us out of ourselves-that makes us look above ourselves in wonder. Look at that! We begin as children when our parents pick us up and point to the sky and say, “See? – it’s a rainbow!” Children love to draw rainbows and color rainbows and wear rainbow colored clothing. The feeling never goes away, either.
Somehow even as adults, that sense of wonder and awe when we see a rainbow remains with us.
The first rainbow came after the very first flood that is recorded in the Scriptures. It is the war bow of God, once believed to shoot lightning at the earth. After the flood, God said: “I will put my bow in the clouds as a sign.” And he promised, “When I see it, I will remember my promise to never again destroy creation by flood.” Maybe, even for those who don’t believe, the sense of some enormous purpose still clings to the rainbow. For those who do believe, the rainbow is seen as a sign from God that he remembers people and animals, birds and all that lives and breathes on the land. Awesome.
There’s something about a rainbow. Its beauty takes away the breath. Its colors dazzle the eyes. It grabs attention even of busy people. It fosters a feeling of a shared something, and that is something we dearly need and yearn for nowadays.
Keep your eyes open this summer. Look up sometimes. You might find yourself mesmerized by the great beauty above you in the sky. And if you’re a person of faith, it will be a moment in which to remember and thank God for the beauty of the world.