Out chugging along on errands yesterday, I got wowed! Intersecting with a mix of sunlight and steady rain, I came upon the most intense and long-lasting rainbow I think I’ve ever seen. Driving first toward, then alongside it for minute after minute, I kept ooing and ahing and thanking God for this marvel, all the way from the grocery to the rural butcher shop. “Don’t fade! Don’t fade!” I wished, and, yes, the jewel-like colors kept glowing even as I exited my parked car and entered the shop. “Did you see the rainbow?” I had to ask the lady behind the counter, and then (because she hadn’t) I declared she ought to come around that counter and take a look.
So she indulged the customer, thinking who-knows-what about this familiar-faced but name-unknown woman who’d come in and spoken so boldly and taken such liberties. She stooped and peered out the large front window, and by the time she straightened up and turned around to get back to her place again, her poker face had mellowed to softness, her eyes had morphed from dull to bright. Now she was smiling.
The wonder in the sky kept hanging out there, iridescent, while I waited for the butcher to bring my reserved turkey. When he tromped from the back at his usual rapid pace, I repeated my question and invitation. He also complied, tromping around the counter in emotional neutral–except for the obvious workday tension that stiffened his muscles–and stooped to sight the bow in the sky. An even more dramatic transformation than the counter clerk’s transpired: He moved to a side door for a fuller view, then stood in the open doorway, exclaiming in subdued tones things like “Amazing!” and “I think that’s the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen!”
After a full two minutes of soaking in the spectacle, he disappeared into the back room, and by the time I was toting my turkey to my car, he was stepping out another front entrance with an assistant. Both were smiling exuberantly–the assistant half-laughing with pleasure–and gazing at the sky. Meanwhile, three other people off to the side of the parking lot stood rooted to the gravel, out there in the rain, not making a move to get out of the wet, just watching, watching, the beautiful rainbow.
I left behind me at that shop several people with transformed moods, and mine had soared higher with each person who shared the joy.
What if I’d never bothered to mention the phenomenon? (If I could have kept it to myself!) That face on the clerk would likely have remained as stoic as before, those taut yet tired muscles in the fatigued workers as stiff, their eyes as lack-luster. A little wonder from God and a little person to share it brightened everybody’s day—including the little messenger’s.
This whole experience prodded me to share greater delights. I so wished I’d equipped my car with several Pocket Testaments. I would have handed everybody one right then. It was such an open moment. But since I couldn’t, other alternatives stirred in my mind: I’d like to give them each a little gift of some kind—a bar of the hand-crafted soap, perhaps, that I make with fat from their store. I’d wrap it, and tie it together with a Testament, and add in a reminder of the rainbow.
How like a magnificent rainbow (God’s sign of His grace, Gen 9:11-17) is any wonderful truth from His word! How equally compelling to share it! What an even greater shame not to spread its joy!
A lesson for me in exuberance.