A devotional by Sharon Musgrove
“And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”” – Genesis 9:12-16 (RSV)
When I was a senior in high school, I took Physics. I was blessed to have a teacher who thoroughly enjoyed science and sought to share the understanding and joy of the laws of nature. In hindsight, the timing of that class, that teacher, and the struggles of that teen girl with her father, was like the pulling together of many ribbons to form a spectacular bow.
My father grew up in a house of boys and wanted boys of his own. Three girls were the gifts he received. Today I can have pity on my dad for not knowing what to do with all that estrogen, but that was not the emotion I had at the time. What my father did really well was pitching in and helping with school projects. Maybe he did it a little too well.
In Physics class, we were learning the Law of Refraction of Light and were asked to construct a poster-sized visual to demonstrate how white light disperses into a color spectrum when it passes through a new medium. In simpler terms, the assignment was to create an image that explained the science behind how rainbows are formed. To increase our excitement in the project, there was to be a contest and the winner would get an automatic 100 percent score on one test that term.
My dad was very excited about that project. He rented an artist’s spray gun and created the most authentic rainbow in the history of 12th grade science projects. I merely added to the poster, the mathematical equation in my neatest, black sharpie hand. Dad won, for his daughter, an “A” (grade) on the exam. All year long that poster was pinned to the front of the class, reminding me of what my father did for me.
Only the year passed. I graduated. The poster came down. Angry words and painful actions were exchanged between my father and me. Silence and distance grew between us. Enough years passed that my own children were nearing the age I had been when I was educated to the bending of light.
One rainy spring afternoon, I was driving through the valley when a rainbow appeared. In an instant, I remembered that rainbow painted poster. I pulled my car over and wept. In all of the years of not forgiving my father, I failed to remember the love of my dad. I’d only been keeping record of pain.
Centuries before, God the Father and man, His child, were separated by pain, anger and ugliness. In response, God intervened. He washed away that which was wicked and caused grief. Clouds carried a fresh medium to the sky in the form of rain. Light reached out to the rain and was not extinguished by it. The light touched rain and the light bent…curved in the tension…and became divided into something even more spectacular! God Himself, separated, and the parts became more spectacular! What a privilege to see in the physical Light divided into a spectrum of love! God saw that something was not good and He intervened. He changed the laws of nature to accommodate Himself!
Genesis 9:15 tells us that God looks at those rainbows too. Like a pinned poster, they are created for His remembrance as well as ours. To think that God and I can look on a rainbow together and be united in our love is truly a bow on a gift!
A rainbow from an aerial view is a full circle. Similarly, I’ve experienced the 360 degree, full-spectrum turning of relationship. I talked with my dad about the rainbow I saw that day and the reminder of the rainbow he painted for me, all those years ago. The relationship that had been moving apart, curved under a new tension, and has been returning to a place of unity all because God so loved the world.
Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior.
She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community.
Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She's been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.
Easily identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she's served, Sharon now sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.
In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first Christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.