Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A New Covenant

When I drove out to Orcas with my brother Daniel, we saw a rainbow that seemed to cross the entire "big sky" of Montana. (Safe and Sound) I smiled one of those deep, private, inward smiles and murmured to myself, "A new covenant." Although I believe that God sticks his fingers in our lives when it's necessary, I generally do not believe in "signs." However, over time, our society has given meaning to certain objects and occurrences in order to help themselves understand the normally indecipherable presence of God in our world. When humans encounter a Mystery, they have to nail it in place in order to study it, otherwise its ephemeral nature causes us to stand there befuddled at the breach in logic that has just occurred. When we choose objects or occurrences to attach to Mysteries, we create our own signs. Thus, because I've known the story of Noah since I was a small child, I interpret the rainbow that I sight at the beginning of my new adventure as a new covenant: a new contract with God and the world. (My Uncle Kim, on the other hand, is always reminded of the time when he had to huddle under a table with 3 and 4 year olds because he was trying to communicate just how crowded it must have been on the ark. This then, brought him to having to discuss where all of that poop went. In hindsight, the discussion looks inevitable, but since he didn't foresee it, it's approach must have felt like a train in slow motion while he was pinned to the tracks by an untied shoelace.)

Yesterday, on my way to my first job interview for this new life in the city, I looked in the rearview mirror while stuck on the Eisenhower Expressway. I did not see the perfect elongated hump of a rainbow. We crowd out our sky with buildings here in Illinois. Instead, it was more like a rainline. But it was lovely. The erratic rain still fell on my windshield, but the sun also shone in the side windows and over the 355 expressway that I had just crossed under. I smiled one of those deep, private, inward smiles and murmured to myself, "A new covenant." My deal with God is no longer, "God, please take care of me while I rest and learn in this beautiful place" to which God said, "OK," much to my surprise because that doesn't seem like God gets very much out of that deal. It's like when my Grandpa used to offer me three pennies for a nickel. The kicker was that when I fell for it, he'd never laugh good-naturedly and give me my nickel back with a brief lesson on fiscal responsibility like most Grandpas. No, Grandpa would cackle and keep my nickel! And here I was, keeping God's nickel! The audacity of my asking and His kindness (it must be kindness since He's not naive, like I was at age 6) in accepting are astounding. And now God says to me, "Rebecca, take care of others while I push you out of your comfort zone." It doesn't seem like a fair deal by the world's logic: now God is offering me two dimes for my quarter. But what can I say but, "OK"?

1 comment:

Joe said...

I was shocked to come across your blog and discover your reference to Olamide. This must bring you such sadness. My condolences.