A simple but profound way of saying thanks to all those who are so self-giving at this time has been is to applaud our NHS helpers and carers. Likewise, for children to make pictures of rainbows to give to others – particularly those in hospital, care homes and who live alone. My husband’s parish priest forwarded this story of the rainbow which if you have not heard it already, then I hope you will enjoy:
Once upon a time all the colours in the world started to quarrel; each claimed she was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favourite:
Green said: “Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves- without me all the animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”
Blue interrupted: “You only think about the earth but consider the sky and the sea. It is water that is the basis of Life and this is drawn up by the clouds from the blue sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace you would all be nothing but busybodies.”
Yellow chuckled: “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth to the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, and the stars are yellow. Every time you look at the sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no more fun.”
Orange started next to blow his own trumpet: “I am the colour of health and strength. I may be scarce but I am precious for I serve the inner needs of human life. I carry all the most important vitamins. Think of carrots and pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and papaws. I don’t hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.”
Red could stand it no longer. He shouted out: “I am ruler of you all, blood, life’s blood. I am the colour of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire in the blood. Without me the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the colour of passion and of love; the red rose, poinsettia and poppy.”
Purple rose up to his full height. He was very tall, and he spoke with great pomp: “I am the Colour of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me; they listen and obey.”
Indigo spoke much more quietly than all the others, but just as determinedly: “Think of me. I am the colour of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep waters. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and for inner peace.
And so, all the colours went on boasting, each convinced that they were the best. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of brilliant white lightening; thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colours all crouched down in fear drawing close to one another for comfort.
Then rain spoke: “You foolish colours, fighting among yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Do you know that God made you all each for a special purpose, unique and different? He loves you all. He wants you all. Join hands with one another and come with me. We will stretch you across the sky in a great bow of colour, as a reminder that he loves you all, that you can live together in peace; a promise that He is with you and a sign of hope for tomorrow.”
And so whenever God has used a good rain to wash the world, he put the rainbow in the sky, and when we see it we should remember that he wants us all to appreciate each other. (An Indian legend)