I’m amazed at how much time I actually spend walking dogs. Let me see, each walk is anywhere between twenty and thirty minutes, and I do that about five times a day. How much of my life is that? Hold on. That’s approximately one hundred to one hundred fifty minutes A DAY walking dogs. That’s over 8% of my time each day! Do I really have nothing better to do than wait for my dogs to pee and poop, you ask? Sadly, it’s true.
As a matter of fact, right now I’m on one of those walks. After practically begging Coco to go, so we can get back inside to the air conditioning, I find myself looking up at the piercing blue sky. It’s really quite beautiful today, and I suppose this is one of the benefits to these walks.
In Texas sky is in abundance. Blue is a color that your furniture matches, because somehow the outside always flows in. Brush, cactus, and dirt are the only vegetation, and the land is quite unattractive. But the sky, the sky is always amazing. I think God gave us, Texans, the vast blue to make up for the lack of green.
Today feels different than most of those sunny days though. It’s still hotter than heck, but there’s a slight bit of humidity in the air. The smell of rain is a reminder of my childhood in Alabama, and instantly I feel excited for a change of pace. A change, maybe a storm or at least more than a half inch of rain.
Monotony is like a demon in my life, boring days that seems to run together like a string of pearls. No day is different than the last, and there never is anything to look forward to. But, I guess, it could be worse.
After their walk, I let all of them inside. I unhooked their leashes, took off their harnesses, took off my shoes, and collapsed on the coach. The heat is killer out there. As I stretch out to grab the remote, my phone rings.
“Did you hear about what happened?” my mama asked frantically.
“No. What are you talking about?” I could feel the hesitation grow in my voice.
“It’s the Twin Towers in New York, and the Empire State building. They ran planes through them. They’re expecting thousands to be dead. Oh my goodness, Mary, what if this is just the beginning of more attacks? Where will be next?”
I could hardly breathe. I felt my heart flutter with terror, sadness, and anger all at once.
“Turn on your television. I love you baby. Call me back,” Mama said as she hung up the phone.
I spent the next few hours watching people jump out windows and hearing screams that shattered my heart in two. For hours, I sat there watching the horror that my fellow citizens in my great country were feeling, and here I was. Helpless.
Something in me grew that moment. It was the first time in my life that tragedy struck my home…stuck my heart. The next several hours there was talk of terrorism and war, and our world seemed to be in chaos and despair. Everyone was afraid to go anywhere, and so was I. No one knew what would happen next.
What if this is the beginning of the end? What if we’ve went too far, and a world war is on our brink? With tears in my eyes and fear in my heart, I grabbed my Bible. I closed my eyes, and opened it. I set my eyes is the middle of the page.
I read, “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart, ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.’”
And then, “Then God said to Noah, ‘I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you- the birds, livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you- every living creature on earth I establish my covenant with you.’
Then God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you, a covenant for all generations to come I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all the living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” (Genesis 8:21, 9:8-10, 9:12-15 NIV)
And there I sat at the edge of my bed, with tears in my eyes not able to make sense of everything.
That’s when little Coco came to my side and whined. It was past time for their walk, and they had been more than patient. I got everyone ready, and I tried to prepare myself mentally to step away from the T.V.
I didn’t walk twenty feet before I looked up at the sky, and then I saw it. There peaking from the big Texas clouds was a rainbow, in its glorious wonder shining its beautiful colors down on the world… down on me.
I couldn’t help but stop moving, and I couldn’t help but marvel at it. Before my eyes I saw God- His remembrance of an ancient covenant with His sinful people. More tears appeared, and I fell to my knees. On the worst day of my young life, God was speaking to my heart. I could feel His words, “I see the flood of tears among my people, and I want to remind you that I am here, but remember that your life is eternal, an immortal, an everlasting soul.”
If I would have never taken my dogs out, I would have missed it. Now, 8% of my day feels less like a chore and more like an opportunity.
Confirmation in tragedy is what we all seek, and somehow- I don’t know why- but He chose to give it to me on that day. What happened on that awful day will never be forgotten by my generation, and I’m sure that there will be more awful events ahead of us. I just hope that in the midst of pain we can all take time to see the rainbows.
Vanessa K. Eccles
(c) Copyright 2010