I was in the car today, on the way to an event with some friends. It began to rain, and of course I smiled. Remember how rarely it would rain as we were growing up? A downpour would be such a special event; we would run outside and dance around, our faces upturned, trying to catch drops on our tongues.
I don’t know if you recall when we lived in the “old house” and a thunderstorm put out the lights one evening. I was frightened but you pulled me from the dark room; we found the rest of our family in the living room where we sat and watched the beautiful display of lightning illuminating the billions of drops descend the sky. I sat between you and mom in front of our big glass door, and I felt safe.
A lot has happened in the decades since then, hasn’t it? When I left home you were already a mother, but I was worried about you because of things in your life that were breaking your heart. I prayed that you would find healing.
Once, when I came back for a visit, you had just gone through another difficult time and I wished there was something I could do to help you through it. But I was just passing through and my time together with you was not long enough…never long enough.
Years passed when we met at a mall on another of those rare rainy days. My heart went out to you as I listened to the high points and low points of your last couple years and realized there were had been more valleys than hills. I wished that I could offer some answers but being far younger than you, I did not have much experience to pull on. The best I could offer was a listening ear as we shared an ice cream and walked around the busy weekend mall.
By the time we stepped outside, the sun was on its way down. The rain was still falling, as if in a kind attempt to camouflage the inner rain that was running down your cheeks and beginning to fill my eyes as well. We rounded a corner and I glanced up at the horizon. I drew your attention towards the sight.
In spite of the downpour, a patch of sky was bright with rays beaming from a silver-lined cloud. Just above, a soft rainbow was sharing its hope with all who might have turned their gaze skyward. Somehow I knew that everything was going to be okay, and I know you shared that hope.
Today, in the car, the sun is shining, even though the rain is pouring down on the windshield. I guess that’s why I thought of you. The many times you chose hope and faith, even through the most difficult times.
Over the years, I have faced similarly rough patches, and when I thought of you I tried to choose the same – a path of trust and faith, hope and love.
I know that right now, not far off, there’s got to be a rainbow somewhere, sharing its hope with those who choose to look up.