It's no secret that I hate to fly. I have an irrational fear of flying - as in telling me it's safer to be on a plane than in a car does me no good because I'm irrational - and even though I used to fly all the time (I was on over a dozen planes this summer alone) I get frightened. I've made my peace with God several times over - sometimes several times on just one flight - and I've even been known to make out a will or go over any thoughts I might have for a memorial service with people before I get on a plane. Melodramatic? Sure, but remember that key word, irrational.
I visited my sister and family this weekend (it was her senior recital) and so I got to fly on a plane. And it wasn't just any plane - it was a LITTLE plane. As in 50 seater, as in you get to feel the bumps in the air so much better, as in Amy's least favorite make of her least favorite mode of transportation. The flight over to Chicago was okay - I found myself sitting next to a woman who is a Methodist pastor in South Carolina and so I was distracted by talking shop. The flight on the way back, however... "Just a little turbulence" the captain says. HAH! I felt like I was traveling down a gravel road in an old pickup with no shocks. This camper was not happy.
About 10 minutes into the flight I looked out the window and noticed something interesting. I could see the shadow of the plane on the clouds below us - that wasn't unusal - but I saw something else. Around the shadow of our plane was a circular rainbow. I'd never seen anything like it. This rainbow didn't disappear in a few moments like other rainbows I've seen from planes - it stayed in sight, stayed around our plane's shadow, for a long time. In fact, it wasn't until we had finally cleared the turbulence, about 20 minutes later, that the rainbow disappeared from sight.
Now I'm sure someone well-versed in the sciences could talk to me about the sun's position and the clouds and whatever else would explain my rainbow. But that's not important to me. What is important is that when I was scared I was given a sign of hope. I didn't look at this rainbow surrounding my plane's shadow and think - well, that's a sure sign we're going not going to crash - I looked at it and thought: hey God, thanks. Thanks for reminding me that no matter what, no matter what scares me, no matter if this plane makes it to Dulles or not, you're with me, always with me.
I know that - I feel that - I live that truth - that God is always there... but sometimes it's nice to have a reminder.