While cloud watching at the beach, I saw what looked like a rainbow-colored chariot of fire. It’s called a fire rainbow or a circumhorizontal arc, formed when sunlight or moonlight is refracted off plate-shaped ice crystals. But to me it was a chariot of fire.
The prophets Elijah and Elisha were “walking along and talking. Suddenly, a chariot and horses of fire came between them, and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.” (2 Kings 2:11, The Message translation) That’s quite a dramatic exit from this life into life eternal!
This morning our family will gather at Sewickley Cemetery to bury my sister Jane. She will be buried next to our parents in a grave that overlooks the graves of our grandparents and great grandparents on our mother’s side. Our two first cousins once removed who died shortly after birth in 1917 and 1919 are buried on a hillside to the left. Jane was born at the hospital at the bottom of the hill, and it seems a fitting place to come full circle.
I have no idea what happens at the moment of our death, or how we transition from this life to life eternal. But this morning while we participate in her Christian burial, I’m going to remember that rainbow chariot of fire I saw last week.
“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” (Gerald Manley Hopkins) ~ Anne