Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” The Book of Genesis
8/30/17 NEW ORLEANS. And so it came to pass, it rained and we cried. Texas is a powerful state with powerful people and abundant resources. They sit next to a compassionate state (Louisiana) and one that understands. You will never hear from us, “Why rebuild?” Because we understand the word HOME.
As Vicki, my wife, and I sat on our back porch contemplating life, chatting, and drinking our coffee we looked up and there it was God’s Covenant in the sky. Dams breach, levees break, coast lands erode and river banks overflow. The reality is that such is our condition because we build and grow and go places that perhaps we shouldn’t. That growth takes generations and so do the changes. Our ecology, human or natural, has changed all things and will continue to do so as long as we continue to even step one foot on this planet. We innocently, most times, have reaped what we sowed.
I remember a man in Cleveland Ohio asking me, “Why should I give a donation to New Orleans? It is only going to flood again. In fact, I don’t like that our tax dollars are going down the proverbial drain there!”I stammered and sputtered and simply said, “It is our home, our culture, and a center piece of the United States. And yes, sir, like you we are citizens of the United States, E Pluribus Unum.” I then walked away and had a cup of coffee (bad coffee) and a cruller. The next day, and I hate it when that happens, I remembered the big FEDERAL clean up in CLEVELAND:
The Cuyahoga River is a river in the United States, located in Northeast Ohio, that feeds into Lake Erie. The river is famous for having been so polluted that it “caught fire” in 1969. The event helped to spur the environmental movement in the US.
The point is that we are always linked you and I and that greasy river, that stressed out wetlands, those bayous and rivers and dams that we encourage or neglect. We are linked one to the other. As humans and children of God and by adoption heirs to the Kingdom of God, we are one with many parts. We cannot neglect our sisters and brothers – natural or otherwise. Not in this singular event called Harvey nor in the potential called Irma. I am sure that everyone who lives near the coast lines are warily looking east. I know that we in the Gulf will suffer more anxiety in time and there is little to do about that. Such will be an eternal suffering through and with the glories of our homelands, savannas, and swamps.
As Vicki and I marveled at that rainbow I was immediately aware of God and God’s graciousness and God’s terrible dimensions in nature. Have you watched the power and beauty of a massive thunderstorm with lightening coursing through the clouds? The satellite imagery of Harvey is amazing and awesome and holds with it a certain natural beauty were it not for its deadly consequences. Yet, that rainbow spoke to me, and perhaps not to you, but it did speak to me.
It reminded me that God is the author of all things natural, the first cause, ex nihilo , and that such is the grandeur of his craft. Equally, I was immediately reminded of his presence with us. Jesus the Christ my brother and companion through the Holy Spirit. Such profound compassion and love and caring all illustrated in a rainbow. The colors, the mystery of that singular physical phenomena, interpreted through the lenses of faith. Oh my what a lovely moment in the midst of the tears and the rain. This is what I thought (thank you St. Patrick):
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
If you see no rainbow, perhaps your hair can catch the wind that is right now blowing, or perhaps you might notice hydrangea or the flowing pampas grasses moving too and fro. Maybe for you sitting on a porch with tea or coffee might be the drifting sounds of a calliope played on a riverboat, or perhaps the bang of drums and riffs of trumpets playing in the streets. You may be in a shelter watching the sadness and compassion of humanity unfold. Maybe in that shelter you simply are hungry and afraid and simply looking for something that is solid and that you know. If so, look around see those that are helping and those that are seeking help and perhaps in that what you might know, what might be solid, is the presence of Christ among you: “I was naked and you clothed me. Hungry and you fed me.”
When you see, hear, smell or experience these insights let them enfold you these bits life; smile because that is our Brother our Friend our Creator and Sustainor standing near and whispering, “you are precious in my sight.”
I wanted to share our morning coffee and rainbow with you. All is chaos and all will be well … so long as we love our neighbors as ourselves – UBUNTU!