ABIQUIU, N.M. -- So for most of the afternoon the other day I had been sitting at my laptop in the back room of the small Ghost Ranch library here, working away while alternately watching the sun light up the hill out the window to my left and listening to rain dink-dink on the opaque skylight window overhead.
Eventually I needed a stretch. So I went out the front door and ran into a chilly drizzle. So I went up to my room, grabbed my umbrella and wind-breaker and came back out. I walked down the path for about five minutes when the combination of sun and drizzle made me think there must be a rainbow somewhere in sight.
I turned around and saw the brightest, most spectacular rainbow I've ever seen in my life. In terms of brilliance, it even beat the wonderful rainbow I somehow arranged to appear over Honolulu in 1986 for my older daughter's 14th birthday.
But I had left my camera back in my room. So I sprinted through the mist and retrieved it, praying I would not be too late to capture this light show.
As you can see, I made it in time to take these photos.
I am not a biblical literalist. So in the story of Noah and the flood, I look for more allegorical or deeper meaning than the idea that God promised never to destroy Earth by flood again, a promise sealed by the rainbow's occasional appearance.
So when I see rainbows, what I think about is not whether Noah put two of each animal on the ark or whether the flood was planetary or local or just a myth. What I think about instead, as a Christian is God's faithfulness. That means different things to different people. To me it means that I am never beyond the reach of God's love.
What do rainbows say to you?
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MORE THINKING ABOUT FORT HOOD
When Eboo Patel was in Kansas City last week, he was asked more than once about his reaction to the shootings at Fort Hood. He has encapsulated some of his thinking about this in this entry at the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog site. I think we'll all know better how to think about Fort Hood once we know more about the background and thinking of the man charged in the murders. Until then, a lot of the anti-Islam trash talk is just prejudicial speculation.