I was up at Look Rock Tower last week seeking renewal and refreshment after a very long but productive week. I was waiting for the sun to burn off the haze of an early morning fog that had laced the mountain range. I noticed a wind had whipped up that swayed the trees and the already dense fog turned ominously darker and the temperatures dropped as will happen right before a storm. My heart skipped a beat as I knew that I was at the “top of the world” looking 360 degrees from North Carolina to Maryville around to Knoxville over to Townsend and back to North Carolina. Surely, I thought, after the storm comes and the rains start to subside, I will see a rainbow. And never a better place to find one. So, as I settled down and waited for the storm to come, I remembered the lesson that I learned a few years ago about finding a rainbow after the storm.
Here are a few clues for finding a rainbow. First of all you have to look for them and trust that they are going to be there. Look toward the sun when finding a rainbow. Rainbows appear when the sun comes out after a storm. And the sun always comes out after a storm. It has since the beginning of time and it will continue to come out until the end time. As surely as the sun rises and sets, it appears after the storm clouds start to subside and dissipate. You don’t always have to wait for the rains to completely come to a standstill to see a rainbow as the sun sometimes shines before the rains cease. Look through the droplets. Sometimes the biggest rain droplets come at the very end which makes the colors of the rainbow even more vivid and brilliant. And sometimes you will find a double rainbow!
Well, back this supposed storm I had been waiting on for an hour and a half. A fog had completely settled on Look Rock Tower and I was confused as to why the action had settled down. I was sitting in the midst of cold, damp fog waiting to find my rainbow when a ranger came up the ramp and I asked if there was storm brewing. He said that there was no storm front expected and that I was actually sitting in the middle of a cloud! I told him about the manifestation of what I thought was a pending storm and he told me that is what happens when a cloud settles. I had no idea that a cloud had any activity associated with it. I just looked at them as white fluffy patches of water that brought great delight in imaginings of shapes or gray ominous patches that brought promises of rainbows. I had just been given a gift of experiencing a cloud gently yet with great power surround me like a mantel around my shoulders. How fortunate can a gal get?
What I have to take from this day of renewal is the reminder that rainbows appear after storms. And I can count on the fact that there is never just one storm over the course of a life time. As I grow older it seems like the storms can get a little more angry and the rains pelt down with a sting that can be welting. I have come to learn to accept that fact. I have to realize that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can be found. Sometimes the gold is in the form of a friend that walks with you through the storm and assures you that you will come through even though they are walking through a storm of their own. Or a simple gesture of a friend who cares enough to have heard you didn’t make your coffee that morning and hands you a cup to stave off a headache due to lack of caffeine. Gold comes in the form of patients I meet every day whose courage humbles me. Gold comes in the form of nurses, doctors, administrators, healthcare professionals and food service workers whom I serve with all working together for the common good. Gold comes in the form of family and friends I see waiting diligently and patiently for their loved ones to return home.
All I can do is to encourage you to keep your face to the sun. Find that rainbow. Your circumstances might not change. Your heartache and grief may still be magnified. But I believe that we all will find a way through the storm. Don’t be foolish as this gal to think that we can walk through this life alone. I have also learned there are sojourners along the way named friend who can help lift my face toward the sun when I can’t lift my own. Love them with all of your heart. Revel in their friendship and never take advantage of this golden gift from God. Friends are put into our lives for a reason, a season or a life time. It doesn’t matter for how long as we only have this moment in time. We only have NOW.
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