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Monday, 18 August 2014

Half a Rainbow

Awoke to a sunny but blustery day, a hint of the summer which is fast fading mixed with the unmistakable announcement that autumn is round the corner.

Down the bottom of the field outside of the living room window, half a rainbow sprouted from the ground. I love rainbows. One of the best things about Scottish weather is the frequency of rainbows.

Inevitably the song is in my head. Somewhere over the Rainbow. The words betray such a poignant longing for a better place, beyond reach, out of sight, hoped for desperately.

I thought of my wee anxieties and they pale into insignificance next to the terrifying situations in much of the Middle East right now. How the displaced, bereaved, wounded and frightened people there must long for ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ as they run for safety and often find nothing but barrenness and emptiness, no shelter, no food, no water. 

Jesus told his friends, that in this world there would be trouble, but not to lose heart because he has overcome the world. Encouraging words to hold on to in times of trouble, but I’m thinking that people in these Middle Eastern catastrophes may well be unable to hold on to any words, even if they do know them. What they really need is the Word to hold on to them. 

When we have times of illness or loss, there can be a numbness that prevents us from remaining faithful even to daily reading and prayer habits. In those times, it is the church gathering round whose prayers uphold the sufferer. 

May we, the church universal, be gathered round those suffering appalling pain and loss and do the praying for them. There is a place, over the rainbow so to speak, and Jesus has gone there before us to prepare it. May the people in dire need today have their hearts comforted by the peace which passes all understanding, so that they may rest and be cared for by the God of the poor.

Give them a full rainbow today, Lord, to remind them of your faithfulness.

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