And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. [Gen. 8:21-22]... And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. [Gen. 9; 8-11]... 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. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. [Gen. 9; 13-17].

There is nothing accidental, or insignificant, or senseless in the world...

The fact that today's people have greatly lost their spiritual and cordial sensitivity in appreciating the true beauty of life replaced by vanity and forged values is, unfortunately, doubtless. However, this deadly loss is more ancient than it may seem. Remember: the Disciples of Christ ask him about the meaning of the Parable of the Sower told by the Savior without clearly understanding why Christ speaks of many things indirectly, in parables [Luke 8; 5-15]. This is how the Lord explains it briefly yet exhaustively: Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Even today such spiritual cripples often do not see and deny many evident, meaningful and emotional characteristics of life with sour pragmatic conviction, and such characteristics are so few in the brief passing through life! Yet, the rainbow seems to stop even such cripples.

The seven-daily Procession dedicated to the Quatercentenary of the House of the Romanovs from the Cathedral of Annunciation in Voronezh to Seraphim of Sarov Monastery in the vicinity of Novo-Makarovo was coming to its end. By the end of the sixth day, even the strongest and most experienced members reached their limits: all skinny, all sun-tanned and looking alike with their weathered faces which were so beautiful! It seemed all were driven by a prayer soaring above the Procession which tolled the key stubbornly and with deep faith, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy upon us!.. It sounded like liturgical suffrage, with one mouth and one heart, to glorify and praise the Honest and Beautiful Name of God...

The longest daily passage was coming to an end, it spanned for 40 km to cover the distance from the Church of Christmas in Anna, through Khleborodnoye and Arkhangelskoye to Nikolskoye. The changing weather would blow the wind, or drip the rain or scorch us to sweat. Yet, as the pilgrims evidenced, there were no extremes for the whole week: neither unbearable heat, nor storm which were abundant that summer with impenetrable walls of water falling from sky...

Suddenly a rainbow lit the dusky sky crossing half of it by the evening, right ahead of the Procession - and what a rainbow that was! A double rainbow!! A huge arch (bright, glittering with contrasting stripes) stuck over the road and apparently domed part of the horizon. And another seven-color rainbow glowed with a soft reflective light above it... That awesome perspective gave the Procession a new lease of life. The road went downhill soon, the wind and rain ceased, and low clouds were burst by the sun in some places... The heavenly gate opened to the pilgrims. The Testament's Rainbow! Grace of God! – the tired faces smiled.

Yes, the Christian lives by Grace, not by law, and serves Christ out of love which is way higher than the habitual law-obedience. Wonders and omens are reveled to us according to our Faith and God's Grace. Even a tired soul reaches for a fable reflecting the morale with its miraculous retaliations in the end: the evil warlock suffers for his slyness and insidiousness; the bad guy and a traitor suffers for his foul play; and the honest, hard working and tolerant man is donated for his good and boldness, generosity and humbleness... That looming multicolored rainbow in front of them which reminded the pilgrims of its ancient yet very accurate folk names, such as the Beauty, Paradise Arch, Our Lady's Belt, God's Bow, God's Belt, the Golden Bridge, naturally made an impression of a heavenly reward for a long and heavy pilgrimage.

Until now, the lore has it that if you see two rainbows at a time you can wish for anything and it is bound to come true. With us, it also came true: the clean, rained Nikolskoye opened in front of us with the crosses of the snow-white Orthodox Church in the name of Saint Nicholas the Miracle Maker in the center. And a steep rainbow shone in the cloud, the sign of the eternal testament between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

Rimma Lyutaya


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