Why a Rainbow?

TRM instaPeople have been asking about the meaning behind The Rainbow Moment. I’ve shared several versions of an elevator speech, but I thought I’d share the real deal here.

The volume itself is based off a poem I wrote a year and a half ago. I was doing a 30-day poetry challenge, and day eight told me to write about a color without using the name of that color. I loved the concept, but I couldn’t pick just one color. I decided to write an acrostic poem using the seven colors of the rainbow. What a genius idea, right? The poem turned out much better than I thought it would. It didn’t have a name then, but it made my eyes tear up, and it captivated my heart with a vice grip.

The poem itself is a story of redemption, and what a story it is. A prisoner finds his way out of his prison, and while he’s running away – and thinking all the self-loathing things a former prisoner would think of himself – he comes to the end of his road and the beginning of a new one. He comes across a boat surrounded by angels. They explain they’ve come to save him, and he can barely believe it. With tears in his eyes, he climbs onto the boat, and the angels bring him home.

Without fail, every person I’ve shared this poem with has teared up; they’ve felt warmth in their hearts, and their mouths are splayed open with gigantic smiles. This poem is freeing. It floats high on a cloud of the Holy Spirit’s powerful, all-consuming love, raining peace on the reader below. If you’re looking for something to save you, well, only God can do that. But this poem, and this book, too, will certainly help with that.

Double-Rainbow-over-ManhattanBut even still, why would I choose to base an entire book off of a rainbow? Doesn’t the rainbow stand for homosexuality and other ~ weirder ~ sexualities? Am I not scared of people thinking this is my coming out?

No, I’m not.

Rainbows mean a lot of things to a lot of people. A rainbow baby is one born after a miscarriage or a loss. The Rainbow Bridge is where dogs go after they die, to wait for their owners to come and get them. And, yes, it is the symbol the LGBTQ+ community has chosen to represent their movement.

Let us remember that the rainbow belonged to God before it belonged to any of us humans.

When we look at the rainbow from a biblical standpoint, it stands for God’s choice to define Himself as love. When God first created the rainbow, He told Noah that He was creating it for Himself. God created the rainbow to remind Himself of His choice to no longer look at the world through the lens of judgment. After all, His perfection would never be less than perfect, and our disgusting sin would never go away without his help. Thus, He promised to balance out the bad of the human race with His own goodness (Genesis 8:20-22). In the moment of its creation, the rainbow stood for steadfast goodness that would never fail.

In each of the modern meanings of the rainbow listed above, the rainbow stands firmly as a promise. People cling to rainbows for hope. They hold fast to it for reasons they don’t even know – reasons that are engrained in the fiber of every living being. When God speaks to Isaiah, He says speaks of Noah and says, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” (Isaiah 54:9-10). This is what the rainbow stands for: an unshakable and irremovable covenant.

We cling to the rainbow because, at its very core, it is imbued with everlasting goodness.

rainbowmountains

Throughout the Bible, God tells us of His promise to Noah; the authors of different books speak of His kindness and faithfulness when they speak of the rainbow. They speak about the beauty of His compassion and the choice He made to never act out in anger against the human species again. God chose the Israelites, and the Gentiles in time, to be His protected ones, His Beloved.

That’s what the rainbow stands for, whether people realize it or not. I whole-heartedly believe that the meaning first given to something – the meaning behind its creation – never fades, and the rainbow is definitely one of those things.

As my good friend Sarah said, “[God] literally made a new physical phenomenon just because He wanted to remind anyone who looked up after a storm of His loving kindness.”

So, yes, I have chosen the rainbow – the most grand and decorated and permanent of all God’s creation. The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but this God-spoken, naturally-occurring atmospheric condition will last forever, and I’m making a habit of writing about eternal things.

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4 thoughts on “Why a Rainbow?

  1. I need to get a copy of your work. Your writing is beautiful!
    I’m glad you’re not afraid of people misunderstanding the title of your book. It could be a good thing… it could be what leads them to question our faith and come to believe in the awe-inspiring God we love.

    • Thank you! The Rainbow moment will be ready by next week, and I can’t wait to hear the stories of how it changes people’s lives!

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