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Black and White Rainbow Promises

Two weeks ago, Josh and I were having dinner with a sneaker wave of sadness hit me.  At a table surrounded by strangers trying hard to blink back the tears, I asked Josh to put his pastor hat on.

What do I do with these visions and promises that don’t seem like they will ever come to be?  I asked, already knowing what his very black and white answer would be.

You wait, he said.

And the tears escaped my eyes and we changed the subject before they became a public waterfall.

Grief always sneaks up in the most inconvenient places.

That night, I had a dream.  Look at that! I heard someone say, directing my attention to the sky.  I looked up to see it filled with fractions of rainbows.  A quarter piece here.  A quarter piece there.  Five of them, rotated all in different directions.  But the most interesting part of the dream was that it was all in black and white.  As if photographed on film.  I could see the grain.  No color at all.

Promise after promise, I thought.  Black and white.  Just like Josh.

So I wait.  With these fractions of promises.  These glimpses into the future to give me hope.  Something to grip onto.  I squeeze them tight and put them back into that pocket of my heart that feels so cavernously empty sometimes, and remind myself again of that verse in Luke.  The one that was outlined in pink in my Bible, catching my attention immediately after another friend told me of another dream that I was skeptical about.

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the LORD.
Luke 1:45

I’ve learned a lot over the last 102 months.  So much about faith.  And prayer.  And persistence.  And hope.  But what I’m learning now is the power of sharing my weak-faith-moments.  Swallowing down pride and asking close friends for prayer in the most vulnerable (and sorrowful) moments.  I’m not good at that.  And it’s taken me 102 months to learn how to do it.  But I learned a very quick lesson in the last twelve hours:

Asking for prayer isn’t just for me.  It gives those praying an opportunity for the Spirit to move through them.

I reached out in the midst of sadness and asked for prayer.  And God showed up – after she went to bed.  Before she even read my text or knew anything about it.  He showed up.  And a dream is recorded and outlined in pink in my journal.  And another fifth of a black and white rainbow promise is hung in the sky.  Weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning.  And in that glorious in-between – when sleep finally comes and the brain shuts off for awhile – that’s when He speaks truth.  Full color pictures that provide the substance of black and white promises.

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Through His desire for me.  His ardour and passion for me.  His zeal.  His love.  His constant and abiding favor.  His grace in the sense of beauty and His love expressed in the sum of His thoughts toward me.  Thoughts represented by sand on the shore.  Scooped up.  Recorded.  Remembered.  Filling mind and burlap sacks as a means of protection against hurricanes.  And floods.  And waves of sorrow.  It’s through those things that I’m not consumed.

His compassions and grace and favor are a levee that will not break.  Outside, fear and doubt are pressing in, but His mercies and the sum-of-His-thoughts-toward-me-sandbags hold tight.  Leaving me to swim in the depth of His love.  And grace.  And favor.  That are new and sparkly and beautiful in this soft joy-in-the-morning light.


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