Discernment, I Sing the Body Electric, Ministry, Photos

Bow in the Clouds


  All Saints Day Rainbow 
  Originally uploaded by revsongbird.

It was a grey day, although there was little rain. The Princess and I were driving home from her piano lesson when suddenly the light changed. The setting sun, behind clouds all day, appeared dramatically and shot deep yellow light across roofs and treetops.

I rushed home, hoping to get a picture, and was just going in for the camera when our neighbor rode down the street on his bike and told us to go to the end of the block and see the rainbow.

We raced down to Big Avenue, and we crossed to get a better view, only to discover that the best angle was from the middle of the street. That was not a feasible place to stop in the afternoon traffic.

I did notice at least one driver snapping a picture with her phone as she drove past us.

Even before I heard about the rainbow, I was remembering a day just after my seminary graduation, another day with a rainbow visible from just the same vantage point.

I received a phone call from the chair of a search committee, a call telling me I would not be considered further as a candidate at her church. It was the first rejection I received, and I felt just awful. I had been excited about the church, and of course I felt worried about whether anyone would want me, especially since I had limited my search to our immediate area. After the call ended, I wept. I must admit to having a moment of faith deficit, a doubt event, a sense of being miffed at God and a real dislike of the unknown.

There was little time to mourn, for we were due at a fundraising dinner for a school program, at a chi-chi pizza place on the waterfront. I got the kids in the car, and we headed for the corner. And just as we turned it, oh! An absolutely gorgeous rainbow, as vivid and enormous as any I had ever seen.

"I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9:13, NRSV

It occurs to me that as I listen for what I am to do next in my life and my ministry, for the first time the answer is not in words but in the things I can observe and sense. As a strong intuitive, I have lived outside my body, almost like a person who cannot keep her feet on the ground at all because being embodied is too, too…well, frightening? Mundane? Ordinary?

Now it feels necessary, as if the guidance I require may be found in creation, somehow. I’m trying to understand how to get the message. I hope I can find a perspective that doesn’t require standing in the middle of the street, but I will do it if I must.

8 thoughts on “Bow in the Clouds”

  1. I will forget to stop and listen and watch and then get frustrated when not knowing what to do stops me cold. Then the “Duh” hits and I remember to stop. And I find being embodied extreeeemely limiting.
    Great rainbow. And instead of the middle of the street, maybe standing on your head or inverting you legs up the wall? Yoga suggestions.

  2. I don’t know if you will learn the specifics of the message of the rainbow anytime soon or not. I just know that I think that the rainbow’s over-arching message is God’s eternal “I am with you. I promise.” I am glad you received that reassurance today.

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