A rainbow message
Today’s column explores how the sunshine of God’s love is able to break through and heal what may feel like very dark and cloudy situations.
It was a terrific rainstorm with such a hard downpour that small rivers ran down both sides of our street. But the air was warm, and the kids wanted to play in the rain. As soon as it was safe, we ran outside to splash in the puddles. As we played, the most beautiful rainbow appeared at the end of our street.
I love rainbows. As soon as I see a hint of sunlight during a rain, I am outside in an instant, looking for those brilliant colors in the sky. However, this time we could not see the sun. It was still raining, and thunder could be heard in the distance. But the sight of the rainbow was all we needed in order to know that the storm was passing and the sun would soon appear.
As I stood admiring this phenomenon, I was struck by how often God’s love had shown itself to me in this way – through inspiration that had come when needed, sometimes right in the midst of a stormy situation, helping me feel the presence of divine Love and bringing me a sense of healing, safety, and protection.
I had a beautiful example of this when we were adopting our first child. Our adoption agency let us know in April that we would be able to pick up baby Maria in Guatemala by June. My husband and I were so excited!
But June came and went. So did July, August, September.... When we did not get the green light by December, I knew something was wrong. The agency in Guatemala continually asked for more money, yet we were no closer to bringing Maria home. The agency in the United States had no idea why it was taking so long, and its lawyer in Guatemala had stopped responding. I felt locked in a terrible storm of emotions and events over which I felt I had no control.
It is my habit as a Christian Scientist to turn to God for answers, because I have experienced the difference that a clear sense of God’s ever-presence can make in our lives. So I had been praying all along. But now I really got down on my (mental) knees. My prayer went something like this: “Dear God, Maria is Your beloved child. You are her true Mother and Father. Thank you for caring for, loving, and protecting all of us as Your spiritual offspring, all brought together in Your family.”
The Bible is a great guide, including in times of need, and there is a passage in it that speaks to everyone’s right to a family: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families” (Psalms 68:5, 6). And the Lord’s Prayer that Christ Jesus shared indicates the spiritual family we are all part of! It begins with the line, “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Not “his,” “her,” or “their,” but “our” – everyone’s – Parent. In a spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, this line reads, “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (p. 16).
As our Father and Mother, God cares for and guides His entire creation, and in my prayers about the adoption I saw how that included Maria, my husband, and me, as well as the lawyers and adoption workers involved. I realized Maria’s true home wasn’t dependent on an adoption process, but on the permanent abode we all have in our divine Parent’s limitless love.
This idea of having the same divine Parent and belonging to the same spiritual family, at home in divine Love, brought me comfort. I knew I could trust in God’s care. In that moment I felt such a sense of God’s love for all His children, and I felt at peace.
Right on the heels of this came a thought as clear to me as if someone had spoken it aloud: “Go to Guatemala.” Although the circumstances had not changed, this idea felt right to my husband and me.
When I flew to Guatemala shortly thereafter, I did not know what to expect. To my grateful surprise, I was met at the airport by the adoption lawyer’s assistant, Maria’s foster mother, and Maria. We subsequently completed the adoption process, and Maria has been in our family ever since. The bleakness was behind us.
On a cloudy day, we always know the sun is still there. Similarly, no matter how dark a situation may appear, we can affirm in prayer that God is there to dispel the clouds and reveal the sunshine of His healing presence and pure love. I love the way this is put in a poem called “Love” by Mrs. Eddy:
“Let there be light, and there was light.”
What chased the clouds away?
’Twas Love whose finger traced aloud
A bow of promise on the cloud.
(“Poems,” p. 7)