Prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you, may not call God the same name you call God—if they call God at all—you see? And may not eat the same dishes prepared the way you do, may not dance your dances, or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody; that’s what I think.
– Dr. Maya Angelou
How do we be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud? We offer ourselves to them- providing support, encouragement and love.
Have you ever been financially broke — and yet, almost by magic, somebody was there to lend you money? Or experienced the death of a loved one — while one person stayed with you patiently through your grief? These people were your rainbows.
During her childhood Maya Angelou suffered from muteness. Yet her grandmother said to her, “You’re going to be a teacher… you’re going to teach all over this world.” Maya thought it impossible at the time but indeed her grandmother was right. She was the rainbow in Maya’s cloud.
When we have no belief left in ourselves, sometimes we need somebody else to provide that belief.
In Jewish tradition, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch teaches that each color of the rainbow represents different types of people. And Rabbi Shlomo Riskin adds that the rainbow is only half a picture, lacking the second half to complete the circle of wholeness. God created the world and humanity in God’s divine image but it is up to people to complete the work of creation, to comprise the other half of the rainbow, to serve as the rainbow in someone else’s cloud and in so doing, to be a blessing.