As my wife Mary Ann and I watched the black mass move in from the northwest, we realized that the meteorologist had been correct: A large storm brewed in the eerie late afternoon quiet of a hot summer day. The black mass continued to roll over the land and the lake and soon its wind came. Each sudden and violent gust removed leaves and limbs from trees, made big sways in the tall pines, and caused the wind chimes to rattle. At times a lull came as if the wind was resting before the next blast of fierce wind. We watched, hoping that rain would come with the dark wind to bathe our dry garden. We watched and turned on lamps earlier than usual because the coming storm had shut daylight out with its roiling mass. But soon enough our hope was fulfilled, and we saw the rain, then smelled its richness as it covered trees, shrubs, flowers, every thing.
This is my fourth week of another storm in my life. After twenty careful years of life in my wheelchair, I developed a pressure sore because, very ill with COVID, I sat in the same position on a sofa for over a day. Boom! A massive pressure sore on my tailbone and buttocks. A pressure sore, like so many situations in life, is easy to get into, but difficult to get out of. And, like some of those things in life that, as Dr. Clarence Jordan writes, “tangle us all up”, they can be deadly. However, Mary Ann and I have treated it with diligence and respect: For the past four weeks I have been in bed on one side or the other except for three short sitting breaks each day. The sore heals, but slowly, through medical care and a releasing of any pressure.
After we ate dinner last night, we watched the storm and smelled the rain’s fresh scent. Leaving lamps lit, we went to our bed to watch a movie, a ritual begun to pass the bedtime caused by the pressure sore. During the movie the storm raged-its rain, thunder, and lightening reminding us of its presence. But after we had watched the movie and were letting the dog out, we noticed a red-orange glow in our front yard. Looking westward, we saw the sky aflame as if it and the lake were on fire. We watched nature’s show, realizing our insignificance compared to what we were seeing. Then, as the bright sky faded into the dark of night, we went to sleep. The next morning we received a photograph from our neighbor Doug in which he shared a photograph he had taken while we were watching the western sky: A double rainbow suspended in the same type of red-orange glow, but this one was in the east sky, over our split of the lake. We had seen one but not the other.
There are many epic stories of floods that destroy ancient civilizations. However, my favorite is the story of a solitary man who built a boat while being ridiculed by his peers. However, after the flood destroyed all but what he had taken on his boat, he is made a covenant. And as a reminder of that promise, a “bow” will appear in the clouds.
Storms bring good and bad, but I like to remember that after storms come “bows” and that is a promise in which I have faith. Like the double rainbow Doug photographed, we have been promised, and that will not be broken