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A Heaven-Sent Rainbow

Sometimes we experience those heaven-sent, gift-from-God moments, and they are their own reward.

Prayer blogger Rick Hamlin

The other morning I was running in the park on a day when the rain seemed to be lifting. To the east the sky was blue and the sun was pushing above the horizon but there were still clouds to the west, hugging the palisades.

As I plodded down the hill I spotted a magnificent rainbow. The arc didn’t connect at the top but the trunks of it sank from the middle of the sky and almost touched the river below. What a pot of gold for all of us joggers and early risers.

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I came up to another runner behind a curtain of trees and asked her, “Did you see that rainbow?”

“What rainbow?” she said.

“Over there.” I pointed to the river. “You’ll see it when we pass through these trees.” I raced on ahead.

But on the other side of the trees, the rainbow, ever fleeting, was gone. I wanted to dash back to the other runner to tell her I wasn’t really nuts, claiming to see a rainbow that wasn’t there. But I’d seen it. I’d really seen it.

It made me think of something the singer Noel Paul Stookey said to me years ago when I was interviewing him for a Guideposts cover story. Stookey is probably better known as the Paul in the folk-singing group Peter, Paul and Mary. We were discussing “The Wedding Song,” a piece he wrote for Peter’s marriage. The composition was heaven-sent, a pure gift from God, one he never expected to publish. When he did eventually publish it, he made sure all the royalties went to charity.

“I’ll bet people send you lots of things they’ve written, saying how God gave them this song and they hope it’ll become famous someday.”

“Yes,” he replied very thoughtfully. “I often respond by saying, ‘Maybe God gave this song just for you.’”

Wow, I thought. The wonders we experience, those divine glimpses, don’t need the validation of fame or fortune or even mention in a blog to be any more real or important. Every day there’s something to look for, gifts from a God who loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

Maybe that rainbow is meant just for you.

Watch a video of Rick Hamlin and his son singing “The Wedding Song” and talking about the story behind it.

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