Chasing Rainbows

“I bet there’s a rainbow around here somewhere,” I told Collin as we drove west toward the farm.
“Where?” he asked.
“I’m not sure yet,” I told him.  “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
The conditions were just right.  A brief summer shower an hour before dusk.  The sun and clouds competing for air space. 
As we headed east, back toward our house, I spotted it – a faint spectrum across the dark gray sky.
“There it is,” I told Collin.  “Right near that house Mommy wanted to buy.” 
I’d fallen in love with the place, four bedrooms, three baths, a nice yard, plenty of space for our growing family – all nestled in a little nook a stone’s throw from the farm and for a price we could afford.  It was everything I wanted in a home, but I’d learned earlier in the day it was under contract.  Besides, we were neither ready nor able to make that purchase.
I sighed and decided to distract myself from my covetous state.

“Hey, Collin,” I began, “Do you know why we have rainbows?”
“Why?” he asked, in true four-year-old style.
“Because they’re a sign that God keeps his promises to us.”
I proceeded to tell him the story of Noah’s Ark.
One time, God looked at the world he had created and he was sad with the way it was.  He didn’t like the way most people were acting, but he saw good in a man named Noah.
“Noah?” Collin asked, referring to his cousin.
“Not that Noah, but another man named Noah.  Our Noah is named after him.”
God told Noah to build a great big boat, called an ark, and to gather two of every animal, one male and one female.  So Noah built the ark, and loaded it with all the animals and his family before the rain came.”
“Friends and family,” Collin said, referring to our family prayer in which we ask God to protect all of our friends and family.
“No.  Just his family,” I said.
It rained and rained and rained and everything on the earth was destroyed except for Noah, his family, and the animals, who were all on the ark. 
When it stopped raining, Noah sent out a dove to try to find dry land.  One day, it came back with an olive leaf in its mouth, which is a sign of God’s peace.

When Noah and his family got out of the ark, they saw a beautiful rainbow, which was a sign that God keeps his promises.  He asked Noah to build the ark and gather the animals, and he did, so God protected Noah and his family.
“Pretty cool, huh?” I asked Collin.  By now, we were close to home, the rainbow seeming to point directly to our house.
“What else?” Collin asked.
“That’s the story,” I told him.
“Tell me more about rainbows,” he said when we got home.
I obliged and gave him a mini science-lesson on prisms, refraction, and our good friends ROY G BIV.  He responded by bringing me toys of every color, which he would name for me. 
The toys are now all over the living room floor in our cramped living quarters.  I’d love for us to have a house with a designated play area, but I should be grateful that I have a home for my children to demolish.  God kept His promise in giving us this home, and somewhere, someday He has another place in mind for us.        

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.