Monday, June 17, 2013

Reflections/Refractions on a rainbow:

Today we had a thunderstorm roll through an hour before sunset, and afterward a beautiful, full, double rainbow appeared.  It was so beautiful that I woke my daughter Abby up (actually, she hadn't quite fallen asleep yet) to take her outside and see it.  After about one minute Abby became more fascinated in the neighbors dog, but still, she said it was pretty.

Afterward, I came in and by the time I had posted these pictures to facebook, everyone else had already posted pictures to facebook about the same rainbow.  It reminded me of the second to last page of my difficult physics exam this semester, which was all themed about different types of severe weather, such as the energy of a falling hailstone to the current in a lightning bolt and the centripetal force of cows stuck in a tornado.  At the end of the exam, I posted this page, reflecting on the promise God made to never again destroy the world with a flood.  In it, I describe how each one of us sees our own individual rainbow - a testament to the way that God gifts each one of us separately and uniquely.

A rainbow is God's sign that he provided to us as a reminder of his covenant to never again destroy all life with a flood. Though God is the speaker in Genesis 9:16, I like to claim the verse for myself that says: "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." It reminds me that though the storms of life will come, my God will not let me go.

A rainbow is a consequence of light from the sun being refracted as it enters a water droplet, reflected off the back of the drop, and refracted again as it leaves. This refraction causes the light to split into different colors. Each droplet sends a specific wavelength of light back to your eyes, which you interpret as a specific color. The entire collection of water droplets in the sky, all producing different colors -- or, if you will, all singing different notes -- produces the symphony of light that you enjoy.

Even more amazing is the fact that the person right next you is experiencing their own unique rainbow, as the rays of light necessarily must travel at different angles to reach their eyes. Therefore, a droplet that you see as red, might be producing yellow for your neighbor, and a droplet they see as violet, you might not even see at all. 
Reflect (No pun intended. Ok, maybe a little.) on these thoughts for a moment, and then proceed to the final page to share some of your own thoughts from the entire year. If time allows, feel free to additionally share some of your own thoughts on rainbows on this page.

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