Thoughts About the Rainbow: Guest Blog Series

We are halfway through our discussion on the “Clobber Passages”. The 3rd post in the series is on deck! However, today’s post comes from Josha. She is kind enough to take over this week’s entry while I’m out of town. As always, her writing is heartfelt and thought-provoking. I know you will enjoy it.

Of course the rainbow has come to symbolize diversity in the LGBT community. But before it became a gay icon, it was something much, much more than that…

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“Isn’t it ironic that the rainbow that God used as a sign of his covenant is what the gay people use as their flag?” said a guy just before the start of a devo at the Christian college I attended 12 years ago. It seemed as though he was implying that a sinful group of people were using the same symbol that God used as a sign of his promise, and that to him was ironic. There were a few awkward comments about gays and then the conversation quickly moved away from the uncomfortable topic.

After all that I have endured in coming to terms with my sexuality and who I am, I’d like to say, “How fitting it is that the gay community use the rainbow as a symbol, the same symbol that God used for his promise to all of mankind.”

I don’t really know the story as to how the rainbow became the gay flag, but I do know the story of how the rainbow became a sign from God. And I want to share the following thoughts about that:

After God had destroyed the earth with a flood due to the uncontrollable greed and wickedness of mankind, he made a covenant with Noah and to all generations to come, and this is what Genesis 9:12-17 says,

“And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and their rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 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 earth.’

So God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and ALL LIFE on earth.’”

One of my most favorite hikes on the Columbia River Gorge is Eagle Creek Trail. The thing that I like about this hike is the abundant amount of water. All along the trail are waterfalls, streams, mist, and rivers and right at the turn around point is Bow Tie Falls where when the conditions are just right, you can actually see not just a single rainbow but a double rainbow. It is beautiful!

However, there have been times when I have arrived at this 6-mile point and never saw the rainbow due to lack of sun or lack of water. On one occasion, I stubbornly waited for the sun to shine in just the right spot, but as I gazed with hope it occurred to me, “The rainbow is still there.” It is always there; sometimes you just can’t see it due to the conditions not being just right. Wow!! I could not see the rainbow that day, but I could see that God’s sign of his promise is always there even when the conditions in my life are as such that I cannot see his presents.  I’m thankful for the rainbow and it’s reminder of the love and good integrity of God.

My hope is that the rainbow is not merely a coincidental symbol of Christian faith and one for those who are gay, but that it IS actually a symbol of bridging the two communities together….and for that matter bridging all the colorful communities of the world together.

When I see the gay flag, I don’t think about a sinful group of people, I think of God’s promise to ALL of mankind.

2 responses to “Thoughts About the Rainbow: Guest Blog Series

  1. Josha, your thoughts fill my heart with comfort and hope.
    The rainbow also comforts me as a symbol of courage. We sing a song, There’s A Rainbow In The Cloud, by Alton Howard. The first verse comforts me as I sing, “As I journey here mid the toil and tears,There’s a rainbow in the cloud; He will safely lead, I must have no fear, There’s a rainbow in the cloud”.
    I especially appreciate your thoughts about the rainbow as a symbol of bridging all the colorful communities of the world. I find courage and hope walking with those who live this out loud in their daily lives. Thank you Josha.

  2. I was just thinking about the rainbow and what it means the other day. I have always loved rainbows and the covenant promise they represent from God to all of us. I used to resent that the symbol had been co-opted by the gay community. Now, instead, I see it as a sign that I might just find a happy place of acceptance wherever it appears.

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