The winning devotion for the 2001 Sowing Seeds Ministry Writing Contest is written by Katie McLane from Farmville, Virginia. Katie is only sixteen years old but wrote a beautiful story about a conversation between herself and her grandmother.
“The Brown Rainbow”
by Katie McLane
Grandmother Helen told a story about me when I was little. We were coloring together in a coloring book and I wanted her to draw me a rainbow. She took a brown crayon and made a half circle on the page. “Gasp!” said my three-year-old mind. I informed her that there was NO brown in rainbows and got so upset that I went and told my mom. When I came back, still upset, I wanted to rip the page out of the book.
“No,” said my grandmother. “We do not rip pages out of books. We turn the page and move on.” So we did.
Has someone been drawing you brown rainbows recently: Maybe a parent, friend, teacher or even yourself? I know when I get brown rainbows like mistakes or disappointments, I want to rip out that page and throw it away, much like I did when I was three. I want to eliminate them from my life, so only the pretty, clean pages with the colorful rainbows remain. That would be nice but it’s not very realistic.
Now I see that my grandmother did not intend to upset me. She was only trying to please me and I can look back and appreciate her effort. Often brown rainbows look different with time and age. What offended me when I was three is now devotional material and a good lesson for me at sixteen.
In Genesis 9:15-16, God says: I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the water 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 the earth.
God made rainbows as a promise to us that He would ever again destroy us. Often brown rainbows can seem like they are breaking the promise but actually they are a fulfillment of it. God is saying, “Look, even though these rainbows are brown, they are still rainbows. One day, although probably not tomorrow, they will turn bright and colorful and will be a reminder to you of bad things you might have done and how you don’t want to do them again.”
Brown rainbows happen to everyone but ripping the page out isn’t the way to handle them. It’s best to take my grandmother’s advice: “turn the page and move on.” One day these rainbows will be bright and colorful and God-inspired, giving you a better life and a stronger faith.
Dear God, please help me deal with my brown rainbows, turn the page and move on. Amen.
Runners up for Devotions
Sheila Hammond – “Sarah’s Laughing…”
Valerie J. Frost – “Empty Vessel”
Carmen Cox Ledford – “Open Your Heart”
Janet Murphy – “A Christmas Devotion”
Angela Arnold – “An Accident”
Linda Stevenson – “The Snow”