Friday, September 16, 2005

Rainbows and Mustard Seeds

You’re probably asking yourself how I’m going to tie the two above things together. See in my mind things are often related that to a normal person (yes I am special – you may determine in what way) would otherwise be unrelated.

So yesterday was a h.a.r.d. day. Unfortunately it wasn’t the day per se or the events of the day, rather it just happened to be “the” day that many things all came together. Sorry folks, as much as group therapy over a blog seems somewhat interesting, I really don’t have an explanation for why yesterday was hard, I just know it was.

All that being said, I wish I could announce that the clouds have parted and the sun is shining, birds are singing, and happy days are here again. But that is a scene from a Disney movie, not LIFE.

But all is not lost. See last night as I let my mind mull over the day and the “issues” two things popped in my head: rainbows and mustard seeds. See you knew I would eventually get back to those.

I love a good rainbow. The colors, the size, the pot of gold and leprechauns (scary little men in green outfits with Irish accents - hmm, I’m Irish maybe I’m a leprechaun). Sorry, got off track.

Rainbows also signify hope and better yet hope in a promise. That made me think of Ben and an old post of his. (Sidenote: Ben you helped inspire this post.)

The thing about rainbows is that they appear when it is still either raining or overcast. Their beauty is in direct opposition to the darkness of the storm and they shine forth in that partial darkness. Rainbows don’t signify the end of the storm; in fact they can’t appear unless there is still water in the sky, unless the storm is still lingering or about to make a second attack.

Instead rainbows are that glimmer of hope that this too shall pass. They are the mark of a promise that this is temporary, the storm will pass, the damage will be repaired, and the sun will shine again. The funny thing is that once the storm has passed and the sun is shining we can’t see the rainbow anymore. We don’t need the reminder of the promise because the promise has been fulfilled.

Did you also know that no two people can ever see the same rainbow? Because the water and light that form the rainbow are always moving and your eyes and my eyes cannot occupy the same exact space we get to see our own personal rainbows. In the same way, in every storm of life we each get our own personal promise of hope.

Now on to the mustard seed. Have you ever seen a mustard seed? They are small. In fact here is a picture to show you just how small they are.

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When I worked at Kanakuk (yep another kamp story) the leadership girls would give all the counselors encouragement gifts during Work Week. It was something we did to encourage them as they sweated and worked and weren’t able to shower everyday (yep we were that mean). For some reason the leadership guys never gave encouragement gifts, hmmm must not be a manly thing to do. I’m sure they wrestled or something to show the guys they cared. Sorry, I got sidetracked again.

One year we gave everyone a mustard seed and I still happen to have mine. And so once again, as I was thinking of the “issues” the mustard seed popped into my head. (I have no explanation for my thought process, it works for me but I’m sure seems very crazy to other people.) And the verse that we attached to the mustard seed came to mind.

“The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.” Luke 17: 5,6

I love the request, no demand, of the apostles. They asked the right man for their need. “Increase our faith!” (I also love that there is an exclamation point, I can just hear the hunger and the desperation in their plea.) Jesus answered back with an interesting claim. If (conditional of course) you have faith as small (letting you know the amount of faith needed) as a mustard seed, you can . . . . do the impossible.

Now I don’t know about you but I haven’t really needed to replant a mulberry tree with just my words so far in life. Good thing too, because I’m not sure I can even muster up enough faith for it to be a mustard seed size. I just need to make it though the day, which seems a lot easier than miraculously moving a tree. So all I need is a fraction of the mustard seed size faith. Just a little bit, just enough to know that He is able to move the tree, He is able to get me through the day, He is able to give me the hope and the promise of tomorrow.

The best part of both the rainbow and the mustard seed is that it reminds me that I don’t have to be sufficient. I don’t have to have all the answers. I’m not supposed to. I’m not able to. Hope, promises, faith, they all make you look to something outside of yourself for the answer. The other thing about the rainbow and the mustard seed is that they exist inside the storm, inside the need, inside the cruddy days when everything comes crashing down. Hope and faith are never more real then when you are so aware of your inability, your weaknesses, your failures. That is when the rainbow offers the most hope, when your eyes behold the true beauty of the promise. That is when the fraction of a mustard seed worth of faith is grasped so tightly in your hand.

So yesterday, today, and tomorrow I will ponder the wonders of the rainbow and the mustard seed. No, happy days aren’t here again, but I have the promise of the future and the hope in the One who gives that promise, and I have that miniscule bit of faith that He says is sufficient.


Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Very interesting. I will chew on this one for awhile. And I had no idea that two people couldn't see the same rainbow. Probably why I'm not very good at science.

Road all the way to the furthest part of your workplace last night on my bike. To the fence by the playground, where it was oily and Brian took a little spill on his bike turning around. No harm done though. Does your office face North or South? Just curious!

9/16/2005 10:51 AM  
Blogger Eddo said...

Whoa, this post is long, I must Dog Ear it and come back and finish... :)

9/16/2005 10:58 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

LOVE this Katie. So extremely true. LOVE it.

Eddo doesn't much care for the long posts, does he?

9/16/2005 11:35 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

You would think by now Eddie would know it is really hard for me to write a short post

9/16/2005 11:40 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I feel ya, sister!

9/16/2005 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marry me.

9/16/2005 12:07 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

I for one, am glad that you don't have short posts.

And did you just get Comment Proposed?


9/16/2005 12:26 PM  
Blogger Ben said...


That I could inspire a post like this is so not the case. I love coming to your site... believe it or not, you are the first sight I check everyday. I like your long posts that give such detail, introspection, thought... that I feel like I myself are standing right next to you looking at same rainbow that you are (only from a slightly different perspective.) BTW... didn't know that fact about rainbows...

Anyway... I don't like down in the Douldrom days... and though the happy days are not here again... it is o.k. I remember asking God why he gives me days like this and the thought he immediately put in my mind was: So you will appreciate the good days "Ben." (Okay, he didn't use my alias... but he did say the rest.)

Once again. Great Post.

9/16/2005 1:03 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I myself am standing next to you...

It would be are if I include both I and myself as different people.

Which I suppose could be the case.


9/16/2005 1:04 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I am only slightly schizophrenic...

No I'm not.

Shut up! Yes we are.

9/16/2005 1:07 PM  
Blogger jes said...

hmmm. we don't do arranged marriages around here. so, unless you reveal thyself, i cannot give kt's hand in marriage.

9/16/2005 1:10 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Ben - you did inspire this post wise man that you are. I check your site right off the bat in the mornings also (and you usually post at unreasonable morning hours so I know I'll get something good). Don't worry I like all your personalities, that just means that I get to have lots of friends named Ben (but I know your real name so I have lots of friends named **********.)

9/16/2005 1:14 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Anonymous - That wasn't really a question as opposed to a statment. If you form your request in the form of a question and also allow me to know who you are I will consider the offer. I'm all for a different last name but Mrs. Anonymous might be a tad too cliche.

9/16/2005 1:16 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Besides, wasn't there supposed to be a gift of a cow or steer or something in this? For your dad?

And you need the blogger seal of approval before we hear...

"Mah-wige. Mah-wige is what bwings us to-ga-ther to-day. Mah-wige. That bwessed awahngment..."

9/16/2005 1:44 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh my goodness that's histerical Amstaff! Where have I heard that before? Suuuuper funny!

Wow Katie! Who needs to "answer phones" when you have nameless, faceless people demanding your hand in marriage? Let's start a petition to get Anon. to reveal himself!

9/16/2005 1:58 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

KT - Cav had me thinking about this all week with her song post. One of my favorite songs is JoDee Messina's "Bring on the rain".

I love the correlation you make between rainbows and mustard seeds. The smallest grain of sand...

9/16/2005 2:00 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

Stephanie, many thanks for the complements. It could only come from one of the best movies of all time...

The Princess Bride.


9/16/2005 2:18 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

"Wuv. Twue Wuv"

9/16/2005 2:27 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Did I really spell hysterical with an "i" before? *rolling eyes*

9/16/2005 2:44 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh my word, that's right! I need to watch that this weekend! Great movie...

9/16/2005 2:45 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh Stephanie you redeemed yourself. I might have had to write you off if you didn't know The Princess Bride. Yes you MUST watch this weekend and MEMORIZE it.

9/16/2005 2:51 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

On the top of my To Do list for the weekend, Katie. No worries!

9/16/2005 3:08 PM  
Blogger Laura Baker said...

Hi KT,
What a beautiful post. Your words are always so inspiring. Rainbows continuously amaze me. It definitely takes rain to make rainbows in our lives, and if we didn't have the rain, we couldn't appreciate the rainbows. That thought is always very encouraging.
Thanks again for your thoughts!

9/16/2005 4:25 PM  
Blogger Cav said...

I think we will never be happy here because happiness in and of itself is fleeting - doesn't last.
Our heart twinges and feels at a loss because this is not our home really - but this is good to have this understanding. Makes us keep on walking that narrow path...

So Katie its ok to feel the way you do - it is hard girl! I know! (((Hug)))

However joy is eternal - and you have found it in seeds and rainbows. :) keep it up.

and you should look up the ip address on anon. and see who it is...

9/16/2005 4:41 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing this. Definately makes me think.

9/16/2005 8:02 PM  

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