Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Through the Rainbow Tunnel

It rained again this evening. I was more than a little disappointed, wishing for that quarter-machine God my son is learning doesn't exist. Two times in one day that God decided to open the heavenly floodgates and soak the newly laid dirt surrounding our house.

Last week, my father-in-law spent several days dumping dirt from a 6 foot dump truck, five loads per hour. I never heard how many total, but I saw the results. Small children-tempting mountains surrounded our new home and dotted the quarter-mile "road" that leads out to the main road.

Saturday, he and my husband ran two John Deere tractors to finish spreading the dirt and lay down the black fabric to keep the rocks from sinking into red Louisiana clay. Monday was supposed to be the day when they spread rocks on top like buttercream frosting atop a moist chocolate cake, finishing the project so I would no longer need to mud-ride in a minivan across the hayfield to reach the house.

But, Sunday evening, despite my prayers, God sent a shower anyway, delaying the rock hauling until this evening...when He delayed the project yet again by a deluge of water.

Just not enough time between the rains. Not enough.

It's a lesson God has been hitting me very hard with this past weekend and not just because of a silly driveway.

Last week, my mother told me hospice had been called in, that a man I always knew as "Mr. Dell" had been given one month to live.

He was a member of my extended family. A neighbor who lived right across the road from me until I married and moved away. A man I always considered one of God's finest as I watched him devote a life in service to God and to my childhood church as its handyman and manager of the food pantry.

At the end of last week, my heart told me to go visit him once more this side of eternity. I knew it was God's prompting. But I had to attend another wake for another of God's finest, and so, I decided I would go this week, not understanding God meant "now" instead of "sometime over the next month."

Sunday evening as I put the van in reverse to drive to evening worship, my husband got the call--Mr. Dell had gone to be with Jesus.

All the way through service, I mentally kicked myself for not understanding God's prompting and acting immediately. I knew He told me to go. And like my children do to me, I said, "Ok Lord...but after I do this."

Why hadn't I heard the immediacy in His voice saying, "No, now"? Was it not there? Had I missed it? And why had I trusted in man's assurance of "one month" anyway versus God's assurance that we're not promised a tomorrow?

By the time I strapped the three children back in the van, I was in a bad place, wondering if I would ever learn to listen and obey God properly and why He would even bother to speak to someone with such bad hearing.

As I pulled onto the highway, in the eastern sky was a flash of color--a rainbow. And seven minutes later when I turned right onto our road, it was no longer a misty-colored play of cloud and light. Instead, the arch was spectacularly bright and complete, stretching wide and seeming to almost center over the road I was driving on before coming down to rest on both sides.

For an instant, it felt like I was driving through a rainbow tunnel, a miracle sent just for me--God's reminder that He's not giving up on me, that He's still speaking even though I'm still learning how to use my spiritual hearing aid.

Tonight, the rainbow was back again, this time arching over our new home, a comforting reminder on the eve before tomorrow's funeral.

Thank you God for your mercy lavished on one such as me. And thank you for men like Mr. Dell and Mr. Huey who demonstrated to everyone who met them the true meaning of service and love for you.


  1. Reading this post causes my heart to resonate. And I will do justice to what you have written by sharing what I feel. Just to encourage you, and also to let you know I care about our blog friendship.

    I just love this post. For many reasons. One of them of course is the way you vividly describe everything, making it easy for me to imagine.

    Another reason is that I have not stopped rejoicing with you over you new home, and to think that dirt is being painstakingly put around your house, then a top layer of stones to make everything neat... and someday soon, there will be mini gardens there, and maybe a gazebo or two, some arches with vines on them...flower beds around the house, shrubs and bushes, even a few vegetable beds... what more? My imagination knows no bounds, and all because I am rejoicing with you in this new season of your life.

    And the rainbows! God's assurance that He gives us time to learn, and re learn the lessons on obedience that we have missed.

    Loved this post, dear Jennifer. Thanks for taking time to share your heart again.