One of the first things I did when the first lockdown began was to paint a rainbow to go in the lounge window, facing the street. Perhaps you did the same. Mine was inspired by my across-the-road neighbours Colin and Joy who filled their dining room window with a fabulous seven-hued bow. I enjoyed looking for other rainbows during my daily walk and seeing small children amble up the road pointing out these colourful signs of hope to their parents.
In recent months, though, I’ve wondered whether to take my rainbow down and if so, when. Christmas, the anniversary of lockdown 1, so-called Freedom Day in July 2021, the start of the Olympic games (when my bunting went up) would all have been logical moments to do this. Colin and Joy took theirs down well over a year ago but I’ve been reluctant to follow. After all, Covid-19 and its various variants is still prevalent and as we have continued through the dreary days of a second covid winter a splash of colour has remained welcome.
It is possible I’ve been overthinking this dilemma but I suppose I’m mindful of what would I be saying by removing this iconic emblem, especially given its significance in the book of Genesis 9 in the aftermath of the flood.
12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all
future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Of course! It is God’s promise and his faithfulness (and not human superstition) which gives us strong hope. Rainbows, and all the signs of spring – green shoots, emerging buds, dawn birdsong tell us of that together with a reminder that death does not have the last word.
I think I will leave the rainbow up for the time being as a deliberate act of thankfulness for God bringing us through these pandemic times.
Oh joy that seekest me through pain
I cannot close my heart to thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
From O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go, George Matheson, Singing the Faith 636