A burst of rain caught us again as we were driving back from Kansas yesterday. Just east of Troy, it came, quick and sudden like a cat pouncing. Dark clouds jumbled and jostled each other in between loud rumblings of thunder as the rain pummeled the windshield. Just before we reached the western edge of Wathena, we saw the rainbow. A break somewhere in the sky behind us lined through the rain, coating the colored arc onto the rain and mist.
There was something different about this, though.
Instead of being cast against a distant sky, we could see the colors lighting up a particular tree, a house or other building. At times, we were within two hundred feet of the briefly prismed object. Randa and I exchanged comments of amazement, neither of us having seen this phenomenon so close to us before.
The principles functioning in the creation and viewing of a rainbow make it impossible to actually see that you are standing at the end of one. The sun must generally be behind you and the rain and clouds beyond you or there is no rainbow for you to see. Should you happen to find yourself standing in its focal point, you wouldn’t be able to see the arc itself. Others might see you striped by its bright colors but you couldn’t see the rainbow if it hit you upside the head. The focal plane changes with your position, always keeping the reminder of God’s word to Noah somewhere beyond you.
There are wonders beyond our explanation that though inexplicable can yet be definitely experienced or otherwise witnessed. Sometimes we hold more to knowing than to understanding. In life’s brightest and darkest moments, it is faith’s full expression that brings us wonder beyond the senses. And in the arc of God’s good light in the world, when we yield ourselves completely to its work of hope and promise, we worry less about the seeing and more about being in it.