During church, more rain fell than I remember hearing ever while in that place. Heavy, hard, pounding rain. It couldn't wash away the troubles, either, but being at church did help. Kind hearts and hugs do make a difference, as do songs of faith, reminders that ultimately Love will heal and transform this wounded world.
But outside again, the sky was gray. The clouds were thick and heavy. It's the peak of summer, but it was dark and bleak outside.
Later in the afternoon, I sat in a Starbucks talking with a friend. One of my best listener friends.
The content of much of our conversation was dark, heavy, thick, bleak. Hard. Because of situations in this dark world that weigh heavy on me. That can't be washed away. That will never wash away. That block the light from shining through, at least much of the time. That wake me up in the early hours more days than not. Because people I love are wounded, because I am wounded, because the world is so deeply wounded.
The rain stopped. After much talking and listening, the sky was a lighter shade of gray.
At some point I looked up. I had looked up in that direction often as we talked. Through the window of Starbucks were huge electrical lines and huge boxy thing-a-ma-jiggers connected to the lines, on their tall poles, crossing the street and looking ugly. Across the street huge golden arches blared bright yellow against the gray sky. And behind them a billboard advertising something or other framed the view. Urban ugliness matched the bleakness of the weather. A wounded landscape, like so much in the city.
But at that point when I looked up . . . . it was faint, but I thought I saw a rainbow. No, I was imagining it. Or was I? As I continued to look, it became more distinct, and I could see for certain that a rainbow was forming.
(I didn't have a camera with me. These are photos from five years ago. A faint rainbow is there, just right of center above the ground.)
Soon it became full-colored and distinct, and I couldn't help but notice that while it was interrupted and blocked by the ugly wires and arches and billboard, it went way beyond them, and beyond other signs and poles, beyond where I could see, beyond, beyond, to wherever rainbows go.
In the midst of the wounded landscape, a sign.
Love will heal and transform this wounded world.