Monday, June 30, 2014
Funeral Rainbows...no accident!
In June of 2000, the day before Ryan and I were married, my Aunt Alona passed away from a brain tumor. I loved her so much, and she was always quick to give a hug and a smile. Occasionally she would come to visit with my mom and only I would be home. I would do my best sign language and finger -spelling to have a nice visit. You see, my aunt became deaf at the age of five from a case of the mumps. My mom tells a sad story of watching her put her old records on a record player and just watching them spin around, but hearing nothing. She was unexpectedly disabled.
There are many things I could say about my aunt, but since this is the anniversary of going to the Lord, I wanted to share with you a “phenomenon” that happened on the day of her funeral. On that day, our family saw a gigantic rainbow stretched across the sky. Many people might think of it as a “sign” from their loved one. But the Bible is very clear about what a rainbow is. It was placed in the sky for the very first time by God himself as a sign of his promise to Noah. Genesis 9:12-13 says, “ And 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, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
So a rainbow is a sign…from the very creator of the universe.
So, I think it’s no coincidence, that on the day of my aunt’s funeral, the Lord saw fit to show an extravagant diffusion of light across the sky. A sweet reminder to our family, that for thousands of years, he has kept his promises. I believe God has a special place in his heart for the disabled. In the book of Luke there is a parable about the kingdom of heaven where a rich man invites all the “upper-class” of his time to a lavish banquet, but no one can seem to make the time to come. He tells his servant to go into the streets and bring the crippled, the lame, the blind, and the poor so that his house may be full. I’m overwhelmed at this analogy to the kingdom of heaven. Heaven will be FULL of these beautiful people! And they will be completely healed. How special that the first voice my aunt heard since the age of five was Jesus? The first choir, a heavenly host?
If one rainbow isn’t enough to convince you that this was a sign for us…how about two? Last June, Ryan and I traveled to New Brunswick for the funeral of a friend’s daughter. Little Emma lived with severe disabilities and a seizure disorder for seven years when the Lord decided to bring her to his banquet table. In June of 2013, just over a year ago, we attended that funeral. We drove the hour there in almost complete silence. Parents who share this road of disability have a special connection to each other. We are tied at the soul to people we’ve never even met in person. We went because we HAD to celebrate Emma, and we NEEDED to hug her mom Alison. We felt so grateful that she was with God in her new body, and so sad for her family who already desperately missed her. As we were getting ready to leave the funeral, we walked outside only to see an enormous rainbow stretched across the parking lot. Its peak was literally over our heads. I was speechless….there it was again. I felt like God himself came down and kissed me on the forehead. Reminding me that he’s still got the whole world in His hands. That little Emma was welcomed into his presence with great rejoicing because she was uniquely created to bring him glory. That her mind and body were no longer captive to this broken world. That He keeps his promises…
I don’t know what you are going through today. I don’t know what obstacles you’re facing or trials you are enduring. But as the anniversary of these two are in June, I can’t help but think of those rainbows and be reminded that God is faithful. Be encouraged that He cares about our lives and our losses, and that he keeps his promises. If you don’t have a relationship with him beyond an occasional prayer or check in the offering plate, I strongly urge you to build a relationship with the God of the universe who also uniquely created you to bring him glory. He loves you so much! Perhaps he is drawing you in today?
Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’ ”
Psalm 145:13 “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”