West Kirk Blog

Where The Storm Meets The Sun… 🌈

This story appeared on BBC News this week.

As we spotted another rainbow in the window of a house in our estate, Reuben yanked my arm out of its socket. “Look! Look! Another one! That’s like, number 99 or 100!” he squealed, jumping up and down. “That’s because we’ve been in lockdown for about 99 or 100 years now” I replied bluntly, inwardly despairing that it hadn’t even been a week yet.
Reuben’s school along with lots of other schools in the country, asked their children to put rainbows in their windows as a way to stay connected. During this crazy time, our kids can’t hang out with their classmates or play in the park with strangers who quickly become mates. Their wee world has been turned upside down while they watch their adults try to pretend like their world hasn’t been turned upside down too. But our schools want them to know that there is hope. They can spot each other’s rainbows while they’re out on their ONE walk a day and they can know that they aren’t on their own. They can know that some day they’ll see their friends again and it’ll be the most beautiful reunion ever (until they start fighting within 10 minutes of playing of course).

Reuben rolled his eyes after I asked him what else the rainbow reminds us of. “I know, I know. God always keeps his promises. Ugh. Can we play football now?” he grunted. I laughed and figured we’d maybe over-done it with ‘Noah’s Ark’ over the years. But come on – there’s a massive flood and a massive boat and lots of animals. You can’t go wrong with that one for a kid’s story (apart from drunk Noah at the end but the children’s bibles leave that part out obviously).

“I’ve tried to be positive and thankful for the blessings that I have, and of course I am thankful, but everything feels out of my control and the uncertainty is exhausting.”

In all seriousness, I don’t know about you but this whole coronavirus thing has left me feeling a bit broken. When we spent all of January watching the updates from China in the West Kirk Community Project Centre, I had no idea how close to The Centre or home it was going to get. I had no idea how overwhelming it would be. I had no idea how it was going to break my heart. In a matter of days our church has closed it’s doors, we can’t see our vulnerable loved ones, our children are being home schooled, we have to figure out how to work from home at the same time, our young people can’t sit exams, our weddings are cancelled, we can’t see any family and friends we don’t live with, and most importantly we all have to stay home and try to protect our health. I can’t even hug and thank the people who leave groceries on my doorstep – and the amazon delivery guy knocks and sprints away for goodness sake!
It was funny when Tescos ran out of toilet roll and pasta a few weeks ago, but it isn’t funny anymore. This is really heavy stuff for our hearts to bear. And if I’m perfectly honest with you, my heart hasn’t been bearing it all that well. I’ve tried to be positive and thankful for the blessings that I have, and of course I am thankful, but everything feels out of my control and the uncertainty is exhausting.

When Reubs painted his own rainbow, I watched with gritted teeth as paint and brushes went flying everywhere, his colours mixed together, and his picture fell paint-side-down on the carpet. He thought it was hilarious. I didn’t. It turns out that I really really really like to be in control. In hard times I’ll be the first to assure you, “It’s okay, God’s in control. He’s got this” but recently I’ve been the first to say, “God what the heck is going on?”

When the flood waters came, I’m sure Noah’s boat which once felt so big, suddenly felt so small. When Coronavirus hit the U.K., suddenly our world which once felt so big, suddenly felt so small. But in the middle of the huge flood storms, in the crashing waves, in all the thunder and lightning –through it all – God was with Noah and his family. He was with them while they were cooped up in their ark for 40 long days and 40 long nights.


And he is doing the same for us now. God hasn’t changed. He is still with us. He is with us while we are cooped up in our homes waiting for this storm to pass. He is with us as we navigate our new normal. He is with us in the long days and the long nights, however long they may last. The rain stopped for Noah and the rain will stop for us. And until it does, the rainbows in the sky and in our windows will remind us that he keeps his promises (as Reuben would say).

“God hasn’t changed. He is still with us. He is with us while we are cooped up in our homes waiting for this storm to pass. He is with us as we navigate our new normal.”

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones reminds us what the sign of the rainbow means. She says that God hung his bow in the sky like a warrior who puts his bow and arrow away at the end of a great battle. He promised not to destroy the world again, he promised to rescue it from sin – he promised to send his own son Jesus as our rescuer. God’s war bow was not pointing down at his people, it was pointing up, into the heart of Heaven. When everything is uncertain and I am at the end of myself and I cry out to God and I ask, “What the heck is going on?” I know that one thing is certain – Jesus has rescued me and he will never let me go. The rainbow appears in the sky “where the storm meets the sun.” On the cross, Jesus, the Son takes the storm that our sin deserves, every time you look at the rainbow remember these things – there is so much hope.