October 08

And there was a rainbow round about the throne . . . —Revelation 4:3

At dawn, as I was readying my dog Shep for her morning run, there was a ranting swoosh swoosh sound as the wind rattled my windows. I could tell that the weather was bad, and stepping out the door, we were nearly blown away by the torrent. The rain, unrelenting, fought us harshly as we crossed the street to the park. I took off Shep's leash, generally a cue for a wild romp, but she stayed close to me, tail between her legs. Somehow we managed to travel our familiar route and got home, well-soaked.

At noon I could not believe the duration of the storm. It was still howling, and the rain still fell in sheets that left water ankle-deep in the streets. Then, around four, it calmed down at last and began to clear. "Come on, Shep," I said, and we headed out and . . .we stopped, and I stared. There, soaring across Manhattan, from the Hudson River to the East River, was a rainbow—no, two rainbows, shimmering their delicate colors for all, residents and visitors, to see. People on the sidewalk were looking up and pointing, amazed, exclaiming to men and women they didn't know, and cars stopped and their occupants got out to witness the wonder in the heavens.

The spectacle didn't last long, but its meaning has. I thought of the covenant God made after the flood that Noah endured, so much longer than the all-day storm we had experienced. I thought of thousands of New Yorkers suddenly talking with one another about something they all shared with delight. Most of all, I was grateful for the wild magnificence of nature, and for being permitted to participate in the beauty that crowned it.

I thank You, Father, for all Your manifestations that cause me to think of You.

—Van Varner