As part of Lamplighters Bible Study, I will be sharing my own stories. Prompted by the weekly Scripture from Genesis and led by the Holy Spirit, I will share as we go and invite you to do the same. Each week after doing the inductive portion of the study– the lessons are available online– I’ll set my timer for 20 minutes and write the story on my heart.
From Genesis: Tell Me the Story
Lesson 5 (Genesis 8:1 – 9:17)
The thing about rainbows is they tend to get lumped in with unicorns and fairies and wishes. At least in our castle full of princesses they do. Reams of colored paper and countless crayons have been sacrificed in the quest to create the perfect rainbow.
I’ve told the Littles about the covenant—God’s promise to Noah and all generations to come. The way our heavenly Father set the first rainbow in the clouds as a promise to never send flood waters again to destroy the earth. And how our merciful Creator intends the rainbow to be a visual cue to remember His promise. And to remember Him.
But, somehow the truth of God’s rainbow is harder to grasp than the fairy tales. I understand. My first impressions of rainbows involve leprechauns and Muppets. And who in the village doesn’t know every single word to Kermit’s song The Rainbow Connection?
Rainbows dazzle gradually.
I remember the first time God sent me a rainbow. More than twenty years ago, long before texts or emails, I lived far away from home. Carefully folded letters marked par avion were only slightly faster to arrive than messages delivered by dove. After weeks of a dark and dreary winter, the streets of Paris turned from grey to wet. Sheets of rain signaled the shift in seasons and the promise of spring dangled on the other side of the lingering storms. Because of the rain one damp March day, I was home to answer the phone. I heard the voice of an international telephone operator connect the call from my mother. There had been a terrible accident. Details were still sketchy, but my sister’s best friend was not likely to survive. She would get word to me as soon as she could.
For nearly a week, I sloshed around cobble stone streets worried, disconnected, and afraid. My heart ached for my sister and the unimaginable pain she and her friend’s family suffered as they waited bedside for the inevitable. I waited, too. Towards the end of the week, the rain subsided. Finally unencumbered by an umbrella I made my way across the verdant grounds of Les Invalides. My eyes lifted and zoomed in on the rainbow partially stretched from the clouds towards the staggered 7th arrondisement rooftops.
And I knew. The divinely appointed rainbow told me all I needed to know. A tear-stained letter from my mother a week later confirmed the news God had already painted across the sky.
What I remember most about that story is the gentleness in which the Lord communicated such devastating news to me. At the time, I didn’t know about the promise God made in Genesis chapter 9. But, the rainbow he sent me that day drew me closer to it’s creator.