The soul would have no rainbow
Had the eyes no tears.
~John Vance Cheney
Thinking about tears recalls a childhood event in which my 7-year-old self, an intrepid explorer even then, found and cut myself on a rusty something or other, requiring a trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot. I wailed and sobbed in his office, the tears streaming down my cheeks. In an attempt to comfort, he told me not to cry in a gentle, kind voice. I hiccuped to a stop finally, saying, in all my childlike innocence, that I might run out of tears. He gave an immediate assurance, with an ironic chuckle, that he didn't think that would ever happen. Hmmm. I guess I must concede that point.
Life does bring tears to our eyes -- of grief, of pain, of joy, of sympathy, and the whole gamut of emotions in our human repertoire. It is part of our uniqueness as sentient beings that we have deep feelings and that we can allow them to express. And according to John Vance Cheney's poetic pronouncement, out of the well of our tears, rainbows of the soul are born. That is a truly lovely thought!
Rainbows have special significance for me, and living in south Florida, I'm fortunate that they occur frequently. I have come to think of the rainbow as my own personal message from God (but, don't worry, I'll share). Rainbows have shown up in my life at just the moment I needed reassurance that all would be well, when I was fearful, despairing or feeling abandoned. They are a sign - a covenant and a promise that God's love is always present. And a rainbow is also a reminder: if there are tears in your eyes or rain in your skies, just look around when the sun peeks out for the rainbow! It's bound to be there. You have to let the light shine in order to make a rainbow.