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 . . .”- Genesis 9:12-13
“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”-G. K. Chesterton
As a child of the Great Depression whose rare experiences with air conditioning only occurred on movie theater visits, Dad held out on getting a room air conditioner for our home until I was sixteen. For a refreshing treat on sultry summer evenings, we’d make the six-block drive to Original Rainbow Cone at 9233 South Western Avenue .
Founded in 1926 by Joseph and Katherine Sapp, Original Rainbow Cone recently opened for its 90th year on March 4, 2016. Back in 1926, however, the nearest homes were about 5 1/2 miles north- at Pershing Road, the southern boundary of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Joseph envisioned the day when Western Avenue would become a major thoroughfare. Sunday traffic already was heavy as Chicagoans traveled to cemeteries south of 95th Street.
An original rainbow cone was a tasty treat, well worth the potential one-hour wait. John Ortberg (God is Closer Than You Think) describes the spiritual component of rainbow days:
“On rainbow days you find yourself wanting to pray, believing that God hears, open to receiving and acting on his response. On rainbow days God seems to speak personally to you through Scripture . . . and each good thing you see fills you with gratitude toward the God who made it.”
Not all days can be rainbow days. How are we to respond during desert, transition times when God seems elusive? Pastor Ortberg suggests that God wants us to learn to see him in the ordinary rather than limiting ourselves to dependence on the extraordinary. The narrator in the novel Prince of Tides discusses a character who has the gift of seeing God in the ordinary:
“I would like to have walked in his world, thanking God for oysters and porpoises, praising God for birdsong and sheet lightning, seeing God reflected in pools of creekwater and the eyes of stray cats. . . . I would like to have seen the whole world with eyes incapable of anything but wonder, and with a tongue fluent in praise.”
It is a very helpful thing to “review the dailies” with God- finding things to thank God for in each scene of your day. When that happens, John notes, “we find that ordinary days had little rainbow moments in them.”