My friend Rose loves music—so much that she can sing, play the keyboard, and compose songs in a wink. She conducts the choir in her home church and she wrote and put to music our university hymn.
One day last week, I showed her the photo of my latest painting while she hummed a tune. Suddenly, she said, “Grace, would you paint me a rainbow with notes on it?”
It is a drastic departure from the series I am working on—flowers and butterflies. But I asked, “When is your birthday?”
I couldn’t refuse a friend, especially one who was singing hosannas to my handiwork. In a moment of madness I promised, “I’ll do one in time for your special day.”
She belted out a song of grace.
A week later, the news about the SCOTUS legalizing same-sex marriage was the biggest topic in all the world. On FB and social media, the rainbow became an icon. My gay friends and everyone sympathetic to the Supreme Court decision changed their profile photos to one with a rainbow.
The very next day, as soon as I saw Rose, I told her, “I have to apologize. I cannot paint your rainbow.”
Thinking I had other things to do, she said, “That’s okay, do it when you’re less busy.”
“No, Rose, I cannot paint a rainbow at this time when people equate it with the same-sex marriage issue,” I replied, slowly explaining to her my stand.
In the Bible, the rainbow is the beautiful sign of God’s covenant with Noah and every living creature “. . . that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth [Genesis 9:8-15].”
At the moment, however, it has taken a different turn. I will not paint a rainbow, not while the sign has been skewed and, pardon the word, bastardized.
“Oh, please don’t!” she said almost in hysterics, sharing my sentiments. Regaining her composure, she smiled, “Paint me a rose instead.”
I will start painting Rose’s rose tomorrow—it will have a butterfly in it. And possibly a musical note or two.
But no rainbow.
“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:22-24