I have a compelling desire to create rainbows. I have made many of them in mosaic. Once a woman came into my craft show booth and was smitten with one of my rainbow panels, but said she couldn’t buy it because her husband would be affronted by the gay implications, and gave an awkward shrug. This made me both sad and angry.
With the Supreme Court ruling about marriage and gay folk in June, 2015, there is an abundance of rainbows appearing on my Facebook stream, and it’s outburst of talking my rainbow language, and to me this ruling good news, just as God’s love is good news.
My love of rainbows began at Moravian Church Camp Van Es at Cooking Lake in Alberta. The theme in 1982 was The Rainbow Connection. We each had a slice a log, and a volunteer had applied rainbows and written our names. We watched The Muppet Movie with the theme song The Rainbow Connection, and learned the to sing it. We painted a large rainbow backdrop, in an open area in the woods.
We memorized Bible verses about the rainbow as a symbol of God’s promise to never again cover the earth in a great flood, a sign of God’s love. What gave it power was the idea that this love extended to me, though I felt flawed through my core, cracked with no method of repair. True grace is a very difficult thing to accept, because the bruised soul assumes it applies to everyone else except her.
I took the idea of hope and love to heart. I bought a pewter pendant cast in the form of a rainbow and embedded with an Ichthys fish(a visual pun, an acronym of the Greek letters spelling out Jesus Son of God, which also meant fish). I wore it often, as a way to remain hopeful.
Now, some 30 years later, I look at it and wonder at the grayness of this rainbow, and no wonder I feel compelled to create them in full color. For a girl of 14, coming out of a year of depression, the colors were intense. There is power in symbols, but also the power of color itself, the incarnation of beauty.