The metaphor for a butterfly has always been my favorite story. A homely caterpillar get's a second life as a beautiful butterfly. Fluttering in the world for all it's glory and loveliness to be seen. A second chance, a new life that gives hope and promise to all.
We have a story of a little butterfly, a story of not only hope and promise, but of miracles too. A story my kids are begging me to tell. So here it is.
The other day after school we found a butterfly on the grass. He wasn't flying and I assumed maybe he had just been released from a classroom and was not ready to fly. He gladly climbed on their finger as I told them to be careful of his wings. They held him for a bit, and he was admired by friends until it was time to put him back into the world.
We decided to put him back in the adjacent neighborhood, in some ivy, to get him out of foot traffic. He sat there on the ivy looking pretty but not making any attempt to fly.
The kids wanted to take him home to release him in our yard and I begrudgingly agreed (as I was not thrilled to be messing with him too much for his own safety). They were careful, so off to our house he went.
We got him home and gave him a drink from a wet paper towel for energy and then placed him in our atrium to give him a little protection from predators. He still didn't fly. I came to think that he must be deformed in some way that was keeping him from flying. We left him in the atrium with the wet paper towel of sugar water and went about our lives.
And then it rained.
Kate went to check on him and he was drenched. His wings stuck together, there was no way he could fly. We decided to bring him in and let him dry. We placed him in an open box with a fresh paper towel of water. He was on his last leg. I thought for sure he would die and I made sure the kids knew that would be the case. At one point I thought we should just put him out of his misery, as he sit trembling in his box, but none of us had the heart for that. All we could do was give him a dry place to live and some water and flowers, trying to make his last days more comfortable.
Yesterday morning he looked beautiful and still. I thought he might have already passed. After lunch he had moved in the box, looking upright and strong. I thought to go get him some fresh flowers. I opened the door and made my way into the yard. He followed behind me and came to rest and eat in my flowering rosemary.
Three days he went from practically dead to alive again. Flying in the world, showing all the loveliness and the glory. It was a miracle. To us, it is a miracle.
So the metaphor continues. I love when He retells the story before our eyes. In our daily life--the little reminders that keep us on track. We can have rough days, we can get worn down to the point of not wanting to go on. But then with Him we do. He lifts us up, free to fly.
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see. [CS Lewis]