Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)
Sapphire, the pet Spaniel and true master of the house, sat at the sliding door that provided access to the backyard. Looking at the dog reminded George of all the time spent by his family training Sapphire. With the exception of George and Sapphire the house was now empty. The kids moved out years ago and George’s wife, Janet, past away just a few months back after a long battle with failing health.
“Sorry girl but you can’t go outside right now. There’s a big storm coming our way and you don’t like thunderstorms remember?” The dog gave her owner a sorrowful look and retreated to the relative safety of her bed.
The storm clouds thickened blocking out the last vestiges of sun light. The ominous storm appeared to suck all the color from the landscape, casting a gray hue over everything. As George gazed at the approaching tempest he reflected on the condition of his heart. As the storm painted everything with a grayish tint so was his heart painted with the colors of sadness, loneliness, and despair. He missed Janet more then he could have ever imagined.
A bolt of lightning raced across the sky. “Hang on Sapphire this could be a big one.” The clap of thunder that followed shook the windows of the house. Sapphire hid under the kitchen table and whimpered.
The wind began to blow bending the arbor vitae in the backyard nearly in half. More lightning flashed and even louder thunder followed. Rain poured from the sky like a waterfall. The drops were whipped horizontal by the ferocious wind. Pea sized hail, sounding like a thousand drummers practicing their drum rolls, pelted the siding and windows of the house. The framing groaned under the pressure of the wind.
The storm seemed to last hours but as quickly as it started it began to subside. George could see a thin ribbon of clear sky along the horizon. As he watched, the storm was torn open at the seam between earth and sky. Shafts of golden sunlight beamed through the ever widening rift.
Sapphire made her way back to the sliding door in another attempt to get outside. “Okay girl it looks like the storm is over. We can go outside now.” George pulled open the door and they both made their way outside.
While Sapphire did her business, George took a walk around the house to see if any damage was done. Finding nothing wrong he returned to the backyard. Sapphire was barking, apparently at nothing.
“What is it girl? What are you barking at?” George looked in the same direction as the dog. “I don’t see anything silly.” He looked down at Sapphire and realized she was barking at the sky.
George looked up at the eastern sky to see the brilliant colors of a rainbow painted on the gray canvas of the storm. George remembered a verse from the book of Genesis, ‘Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.’
As George stared at the rainbow he remembered the covenant he made with God long ago and the color of his heart began to change. What the sun was doing to the landscape was happening to his heart. The sun was removing the grayish tint of the vanishing storm to reveal the true colors of the landscape. George looked around to see all the shades of the rainbow in the landscape of the backyard.
“I guess the world is a colorful place after all.” Sapphire let out a single yelp of agreement. “Now I know why Janet loved storms so much.” It wasn’t the storm at all but the beauty when the storm was over. The colors of sadness, loneliness and despair once painted on George’s heart were being replaced with the colors of love, happiness and joy.
Bible reference: Genesis 9:16 (NIV)
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