A Sense of Promise

Midweek Devotion #7

August 19, 2015

Look upon the rainbow, exceedingly beautiful in its brightness. —Sirach 43:11

Rainbows are startling, colorful reminders of promise.

Coming back from a run the other day, I saw one hanging in the sky. Light refracting through a rainstorm passed, it caused my eyes to go up and trace its arc. It seemed to connect the world below to the world above.

Perhaps it is this automatic response, a feeling of the transcendent suddenly appearing in the sky, that gives us a sense of

Hanging Signs

Hanging Signs

renewed connection to the cosmos. Our brains translate the bright colors into good feelings of hope, especially since we usually see a rainbow after a dark cloud has passed overhead.

For Noah, this was God’s way of saying, there will be no more flooding. The earliest religions were always concerned with that most primary fear: Will the weather take our life? Destroy our food sources? Will the power of nature, awesome and so much larger than us, overcome and destroy us in the end?

Anytime we feel depressed and overwhelmed, our brains experience this primitive fear, and we begin to retract, retreat, protect ourselves from being vulnerable. We go into our ark. And yet nature speaks to us with signs, reminding us to come out. The bird of peace has been released, and she has returned with an olive branch.

Take a GoodMinute

When do I go into my own ark? What things cause me to do that?

What things remind me of promise and hope?

Who has acted as a bird of peace, giving me an olive branch?


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