Where does the rainbow end?
From the July 2, 1979 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
When you were very small, did you ever long to find your way to where the rainbow ends? I did—but it always seemed to end over the other side of the valley or far away on the horizon. The very first holiday pantomime I was taken to was called “Where the Rainbow Ends.” In the play there was a wicked green-eyed witch who tried to stop the children from getting to the end of the rainbow and finding the hidden treasure. She scared me so much I spent the next half hour outside, talking to a nice program lady—and I never did learn how to get there!
Years later, in my teens, I spent a night in a mountain hut high up in the Austrian Alps. We set out roped together long before dawn because we had to reach the summit and cross a glacier on the way down before the sun’s heat made the descent too risky. The first rays of the sun reached us through the early mist as we climbed up the snowy peak. The valleys way down below were still in darkness, stuffed full of cotton-wool clouds. Suddenly beneath us there appeared something beautiful—something I had never seen before—a great circle of light, all colors of the rainbow. My companions explained it was due to the refraction of the sun’s rays on the water droplets in the misty clouds. I took it to be just another of those wonderful mountaintop experiences and treasured it—but gave it no more serious thought until some years later when I was teaching a class of twelve-year-olds in a Christian Science Sunday School in London. does the rainbow end?
The class were unusually quiet. The day before there had been a bad accident in their part of the city involving many children. For several of the class it had been their first awareness of death. As I prayed to God to give us what we needed to understand, I saw again that circle of rainbow light and thought of God’s covenant with Noah after the great flood. We looked it up. The Bible records God as telling Noah: “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh: and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.”1 As we talked about it we realized that the rainbow—that comforting symbol of God’s care—isn’t really just a bow at all. It only looks like a bow or semicircle if you’re down in the valley or on the plain. If you’re high enough up a mountain, way up above the clouds, then you see it as it really is—a complete circle of all the colors of light, the unbroken refraction of the whole white radiance of the sun. What a comforting reminder it was of life without beginning or end.
We paused to consider the wonder of God’s creation, forever unfolding, and first one then another joined in. “So, those children only seem to have been born and died, like little rainbows beginning and ending,” concluded one of the class. “It’s only when you look at life from ground level that you believe life is material.”
“But,” added another, “if we go up into mountains in thought, rise in spirit the way Jesus did, then we begin to see that life is spiritual—no beginning, no ending.”
And one of them concluded happily, “We can help by understanding that the children are still God’s ideas, still expressing the light of His love.”
We went on to talk about Christ Jesus—how he never forgot that before Mary and Joseph knew him he had always been God’s living idea and he always would be even when they no longer saw him humanly. Because of this insight he had been able to awaken Jairus’s twelve-year-old daughter from the dream that she had lived apart from God in matter and could be made to die out of it. He had also restored a young man to his mother, a widow, when they were about to bury his body. He had even roused Lazarus after he had been shut up in a tomb for four days. But not for a moment during that time had Jesus thought of Lazarus as dead—just sleeping, dreaming.
Finally Jesus had been ready to allow men to kill his body in their attempt to destroy the good news he had brought—that man is a spiritual idea, God’s child. But he allowed it only to show them through his resurrection out of the grave that this was not possible. His unselfish love for mankind enabled him to prove life eternal by reappearing to his disciples humanly, so as to rouse them and uplift their faith. They might not yet be far enough up the mountain of spiritual understanding to retain this vision of eternal Life, and to prove it fully, as Jesus had done. Yet his willingness to go through this experience for the sake of others had enabled them, as it has enabled us, to make a start.
Mrs. Eddy, who reached such heights of spiritual understanding that she could give us the Science of Jesus’ teachings and lifework, writes, “One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity.”2 She goes on to assure us that when we gain and keep this vision, the dream of death can no longer feel real to us.
By the end of our Sunday School class that day we felt we understood much better the fifth tenet each one would sign when he or she enrolled as a member of The Mother Church: “We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.”3
We felt too we had at last found the treasure hidden “where the rainbow ends.” Where does the rainbow end? It doesn’t!
8 Incredible Ways That Cities Are Showing Their Acceptance For Gay Pride
June marks the 45th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City, an event that helped crystalize the modern-day LGBT rights movement as we know it. Pride Month is a chance to make visible the issues that the LGBT community still faces and to celebrate how far we’ve come.
In this spirit, we’ve partnered with MasterCard to show you how cities around the world are publicly showing their pride. Whether you’re in San Francisco or Sao Paulo, the message is abundantly clear: #AcceptanceMatters.
Minneapolis, Minn.Flickr: Riley Lester
Amsterdam, NetherlandsImage: FaceMePLS via Flickr
Sao Paulo, Brazil
San Francisco, Calif.
Madrid, SpainImage: barcex via Flickr
Dublin, IrelandImage via Flickr.
Seattle, Wash.Image: Brett Curtiss via Flickr
No matter where you are in the world, MasterCard is there for you. We’ll say it again: #AcceptanceMatters.