My Word of the Week: Rainbow


rain·bow – noun \-ˌbō\

: a curved line of different colors that sometimes appears in the sky when the sun shines through rain


It’s Monday morning, the first day after a week of vacation. I get up 45 minutes later than I planned. The first thing I grab is coffee. I don’t want it to be one of those kind of days, but I am not very hopeful.

Before I can even brew my single cup in the Keurig, Tilly needs to go outside. She’s whining by the door. It’s possible she’s just upset that the cat is sitting out of reach on the other side of the sliding glass, but I decide to honor her request. I pull back the curtains.

A rainbow.

I look around a little more carefully. The sun peeks through the clouds. The patio is dry. The air is damp, but there’s no sign it has rained. I scratch my head. It’s the first time I’ve seen a rainbow without rain.

More than likely, the rainbow originated somewhere that already has precipitation. And within the hour, a light shower begins. But I saw the bright colors stretched across the sky before the clouds came. The beautiful warning came first.

I needed that.

::

Most days, I try hard to anticipate every possible disaster. Not only do I love plans, I love contingency plans. Layer upon layer of this or that or another. If plan A fails, I have a plan B. My life is like the “choose your own adventure” book my step-son picked out last night.

But sometimes – a lot of the time, actually – my plans fail. All of them. Even the back ups. And I am left reeling because suddenly, I don’t know what to do.

rainbow

Most of the time, things eventually work out. Even though I can be an emotional mess, I can be practical, too. I can make lemonade from lemons. I can pick up and carry on. I can look for the rainbow after the storm.

But I wonder what it would be like to drop the contingency plans and instead let Jesus prepare me before the disasters happen? Rainbow before the storm. Grace before sin. Peace before chaos.

::

The light shower that fell yesterday was needed. The warm humidity that followed was like a greenhouse for our garden.

And my soul? It needed the reminder of that early rainbow. It needed to remember again that God goes first, not just preparing the way, but preparing me for what is ahead.

__________

WORD COUNT: 399

Photo by Bùi Linh Ngân, via Flickr, used with permission under the Creative Commons License; design by Charity Singleton Craig. Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.


  • Sharyn Kopf ,

    I really needed to read this tonight, Charity. My active imagination can throw me into a panic born of fear and, at times, hit me with grief over something that hasn’t even happened yet! And I have to remind myself that God walks ahead and He is faithful.

    Thank you!

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      Charity Singleton Craig ,

      Sharyn – I understand. I think our imaginations are partly what make us creative people! But we have to learn to control them, huh? If everything I ever imagined actually came true, the world would have ended long ago. Yes, God walks before us, and behind us, and with us!

    • Diana Trautwein ,

      Amen. I could use a rainbow tonight – a promise that looks ahead. Thanks for giving me this one vicariously.

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        Charity Singleton Craig ,

        Diana – I am praying for rainbow-sized faith as you look ahead with fear and pain and doubt.