The story of Noah ends with God’s promise that the seasons would endure with the rainbow in the sky. We still stop to look at a rainbow, it always brings a smile on a showery day. We know that the rainbow is a prism, breaking light up into red, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange, blue, the full spectrum of colour. I don’t know who wrote that the spectrum of love has nine colours, but let me share it with you:
Patience “Love suffereth long”
Kindness “And is kind”
Generosity “Love envieth not”
Humility “Love vaunteth not itself”
Courtesy “Doth not behave unseemly”
Unselfishness “Seeketh not her own”
Good Temper “Is not easily provoked”
Guilelessness “Thinketh no evil”
Sincerity “Rejoiceth in the truth”
Of course it was St Paul who had the first idea of passing love through the prism of his intellect and breaking it up into smaller fragments.
Not all rainbows are colourful. Have you ever seen a fogbow?
A fogbow is created when sunshine hits fog or mist and refracts, reflects and is projected into a wide bow. The fog droplets are so small that they are unable to split up the sunlight and the bow is white. JMW Turner painted a fogbow in 1807 in his painting “The Wreck Buoy”. The art critics, having never seen a fogbow, were scathing and accused Turner of leaving his painting unfinished.
The work of love is never finished and sometimes we can only sense God’s presence through the rain or the fog.
Rainbows are fleeting, but God remains constant, as St Teresa of Avila reminds us:
Let nothing trouble you
Let nothing disturb you
All things pass away
God never changes
Patience obtains all things
The one who is God lacks nothing
God alone suffices.