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Searching for the Rainbow

I walked outside and said out loud, “Now there is something that you don’t see every day.”  It was a rainbow glistening against the dark gray sky to the east over the baseball diamond across the street. The sun shone brightly above me; the drizzle still managed to drop tiny sprinkles on my face. It was refreshing and the earth was alive with spring. The worst was gone and the beautiful colors of orange, blue, pink, and orange painted the sky what was left after a downpour. I always attempt to find the pot of gold at the end of her arc.

I have seen a few really good rainbows over the years. The most beautiful one I have ever seen was in Nairobi, Kenya in East Africa. I have long ago lost the photograph, but the image remains in my mind like a stiff breeze from the west.

I thought about the Genesis story where God gets a bit upset at how crazy life on the planet had become, so he wipes everybody out with a storm and started again. A reboot, if you will. When I read the story, I hear a God who loves and yet becomes intolerable of us fickle folks who go our own way. God is always in love with us but at times intolerant, like a parent with a teenager.

That story is not about water, rain, or even rainbows even though the primary image is a rainbow. The rainbow is for God. The story is about God. The rainbow reminds God that we are loved though God becomes intolerant with us at times, and rightly so because we are intolerable upon occasion.

Lent is a good time to think about how we have strayed near and far making us a bit intolerable. In the midst of crazy times there is a divine antidote. The world is always being flooded with divine fidelity in the midst of all or collusions with infidelities.

I say collusion intentionally because that is the word of the season. Was there collusion, we are all asking?  As people of faith we have to come to grips with all of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we do, in fact, collude with our fickleness.

We still collude with Pharaoh, a ruler of absolutism who is certain of his own opinion, perhaps it is a military-economic-political leader, perhaps a gnawing moralism, perhaps a closed-down sense of self, or a failed family with eating disorders, dysfunctional, addictions, anxiety erodes fearful communities exhausted and at their wits end.

We still collude with the magicians of Pharaoh’s day trying to please the emperor with new ideologies to control, bring justice with forced rule of law from the top down. Liberals love the certitude that comes from this top down, increase government manner.  Conservatives love control and certitude that hangs on to what we have by closing the purse strings on God, people and neighbor. We collude by forcing our pet project, favorite idea, doctrine, program, word, song, musical style on everyone else simply to hang on and outlive our true fear and anxiety, that we cannot control a thing. Not a lick of it.

We all collude with someone or something. We are all fickle.  So, when things get a little crazy for everyone, God gives us a rainbow. So, he will remember as we ought to recall as well. There still is a downpour of love for all people. There is room for all people. All people still matter. Why? Because God is. Or shorter yet, because God.


God can accomplish good in all things. And God does accomplish in all things, good. IF, and it is a pretty big IF, IF we allow God to have Gods way with everything and everyone.

So, the rainbow is aimed at God. But it would help if we noticed it too. The rainbow is a reminder that the craziness of all of our collusions is our making, not God’s.  The rainbow is to remind God that God loves us and there is an ocean of fidelity drenching us all around IF we get on that ship, or should I say ark.

That ark has many names. Here are a few: dazzling, surprising, loyal, safe, free, peaceable, just and on and on the names go. The names are as endless as the great theological words in the totality of the text are. If we only remember them. If we only receive them. If we only get out of our own way to live into them.

Bring on the Rainbows, bring on new life, bring on the Friday death to Easter Sunday new life preening across the landscape story. As far as I am concerned, it cannot come fast enough!

Searching for the rainbow,  Tobin


Posted by Tobin Wilson with

An Advent Message of Hope

I recently read a story that captured my imagination and emotions. I thought I would share it with you here as an advent message of faith, hope and love.

Two twenty-one-year-old art students were living the dream in a loft in Brooklyn, studying art and basking in the glow of young love. They’d met at a party only nine months before, and had what is only described as, “a moment.” The moment was more than just a thing, it was the thing.

One day on her way to class, Emilie was involved in a traffic accident—she was on her bike and hit by a huge truck. She was then in ICU, clinging to life. Alan called Emilie’s parents to hurry to the city, where all three of them kept vigil around Emilie’s bed, her parents splitting the daytime hours and Alan staying every night, all night long.

For weeks they waited for her to recover, with few signs of hope. Finally, the doctors deemed Emilie medically stable but completely unresponsive. Her parents began to make arrangements to move her to a nursing home in their hometown, where she would likely live the rest of her life.

But Alan thought there was hope—in the middle of what seemed to be complete desolation. He insisted, “She’s in there; she just can’t get out.”  “You have to give her a chance, you have to give her a chance,” he begged. Alan remembered reading something in a Helen Keller biography. In a desperate attempt to prove to her parents and the doctors that she could recover, he traced out on her arm the words “I love you.” She immediately awoke and responded.

The birth of Jesus Christ is God writing on the arm of desolate humankind “I love you!”  May we all awake to the faith of this hope.

Merry Christmas


Posted by Tobin Wilson with