Monday, January 18, 2010

Notes on a Rainbow


April - August 2009:  God makes a series of surprising promises to me, confirmed by multiple sources including the Bible and my discipler.

April 2009 - present:  I struggle with my impatience to receive these awesome prizes . . . er, promises at their appointed time.

(If you don't believe in God or promises from Him, don't feel excluded.  I hope that you read this and glean value from it.)

A thank-you note I've drafted to God any number of times since April:

Dear God,

Thank you very much for the lovely promise you sent me.  I look forward to using it daily, as I have gradually become aware of what a great idea it is You have for me.  I'm excited for the opportunities this holds and the adventures it implies.  Especially appreciated was the double rainbow (of course You know how much we both love rainbows) You sent me in November as a reminder You don't make offhanded offers.  My one request is that You speed this whole process up.  After all, this whole plan of Yours is brilliant; I just want to make sure I get to those promises soon so I can enjoy them do Your will.

Grace and Peace direct from You,

The response from God any time I stop to listen:

Dearest Valonna,

Beloved Daughter, I am pleased that you like My gift so much.  When I see your excitement and hear your anticipation, I am filled with pride to call you Mine.  Never for a moment doubt the pleasure I receive when you appreciate even the smallest gift.  Do not be impatient though, My love.  Think of this promise as a rainbow, and don't focus on the pot of gold at the end.  Stop for a moment and really look at the rainbow.  Drink in its beauty.  Luxuriate in its nuances as one color flows to the next.  The gold is a reward, but it is not the only thing of value, and I must caution you:  you won't receive it if you don't follow Me to the end (it's far too dangerous to go without Me).  So again, I ask you to savor this promise and be at peace.  I will not lead you astray, and I promise not to take too long.

Your Loving Father,
God (AKA Abba, YHWH, etc.)

Well, crap, He's gone and called me out with one of my favorite "objects" in nature.  And sure enough, I do like the look of rainbows more than a pot of gold, and He knows that.  But shh, don't tell the leprechauns; they show their foul tempers when you impugn their hoards.

So . . . look at the rainbow.  Stare at the pretty colors.  Watch the rainbow . . .  and basically ignore the pot of gold for now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bob, Nora, and Ella

I know this may come as a shock to some, but I love to watch babies and little kids experience the world.  They are blatantly curious; they don't bother to hide when they're investigating--unless you've already told them not to investigate something.  I love their guilelessness (Wow, that word looks ugly; let's say lack of guile instead.).  Regardless of word choice though, children are such charming sleuths.

One day I was riding the bus home from running some errands, and there was a man sitting in the seat diagonally in front of me.  His ears were gauged and pierced, and he had a short mohawk.  The sunlight glinted on his blond armhair and accentuated his tatoo sleeves.  His expression could at best be termed neutral, though some might have dubbed it scary.  I'm going to name this man Bob . . . because I can.

A few stops later, a youngish mother boarded, carrying her daughter in one arm, cell phone held to her ear with the other.  The conversation didn't sound fun for the mother; she was venting to the person on the other end of the line.  Most everyone on the bus heard her words too, as she took her seat in front of me, across the aisle from Bob.  I'm going to name the mother Nora and the little girl Ella, just because I want to.

It didn't take long for Nora to make a negative impression on practically everyone present.  She was vocal about how jerky the ride was, how crowded it was, etc.  Ella, however, seemed pretty unphased.  She was busy checking out Bob.  Full-on staring.  Well, she was about 16 months old, and she hadn't caught on to the anti-staring policy yet.  While Nora seemed oblivious to everything except her phone, Ella was perfectly happy to go exploring while held in the confines of her mother's arms.  So she reached out and touched the hair on Bob's arm, big round eyes trained on his face to see his reaction.

Bob appeared pretty detached from the scene to this point.  He was a well-seasoned passenger, but when Mr. Neutral Expression turned to look at Ella, he was wearing the most beatific smile.  She didn't smile back though.  Instead, she retrieved her hand to her mother's supporting arm in preparation for her next mission.  This time, she reached out and rested the full length of her chubby hand on Bob's tattooed arm.  His expression was no different this time:  smile directed right into Ella's beautiful brown eyes.

Ella was delighted.

But Nora was still preoccupied with haranguing the bus driver and tossing out diatribes against everyone she knew.

Within a few more stops, it was time for Nora and Ella to disembark.  Ella was contentedly silent the entire ride, but Nora cursed the driver even as she marched off the bus.  And it made me sad.  Does she realize what her daughter sees and hears?  Does she spend time in the night planning her daughter's life?  How long before Ella adopts a similar attitude and aborts her current demeanor?  How long do we have with the guileless investigator before she potentially transforms into a fault-finder?