A song for the broken: God Only Knows.
Gratefully God cares.
At this moment Lester Holt shares the national and international news. I have to shake my head wondering why I feel the need to be informed. Our land is in dire straits.
Hope rang true when I walked into my office afterwards and reached for some paint swatches pinned on a bulletin board. My eyes happened to fall on the page below. I had seen it for so many years, I failed to see it anymore.
Yet, on this day, I did. The wrinkled page holds a vast landmine–three poems by Langston Hughes, part of a series of his dream poems I taught as a secondary English teacher. Hughes was a leader in the Harlem Renaissance. His short poems were deep in meaning, winning over the most rebellious of anti-poets. I had memorized them as I had scriptures, and once was a broken-winged bird that healed to fly again.
Go back through and read the printed poems. Then read again, noting my scribbled questions for my students, my little add-ons for emphasis. Then go dream.
One spring when the azaleas were in their greatest glory, I spent an hour following this butterfly around, snapping photos. Over the years, I’ve seen others post their “butterfly on a fuchsia azalea bush” many times, almost identical to mine.
What we have to grasp is that it’s not about our composing a spectacular one-of-a-kind Ansel Adams photograph. Sometimes it’s about the EXPERIENCE, the MOMENT.
This photo reminds me how I felt when I was caught up in the butterfly’s journey through beauty, attempting to capture those moments to carry with me over time.
Maybe what we do isn’t always about how others respond on Instagram or Facebook. Maybe it’s about our being in the moment with our Creator’s world and His presence, absorbing that time, that place, that peace to live in always.
I wrote the above poem in response to my finding a tattered butterfly in our sunroom, dying. Like many of you, I have a great love for butterflies. These winged wisps of artwork, delicate as they are, flutter from blossom to blossom, from country to country. Who could ever imagine they once crawled about the earth and miraculously transformed into an expression of beauty for our unending pleasure!
Our deeper connection is how akin our transformation is with theirs.
So you can understand how I react each time I spot a butterfly in our sunroom, battling to break through the glass, trying to reach its freedom. Its death soon follows because of an invisible killer lurking–insecticide sprayed on the window sills by our bug man. It’s in our valid pursuit to reduce the annoying insects, not butterflies.
Some survive. Some don’t. However, recently one particular butterfly taught me a lesson which made me think of many of you. You, too, are probably In the midst of a battle. Maybe, it’s for your health or a loved one’s. It could be for healthy relationships with a spouse, child, parent, friend or enemy. Some of you might be struggling for freedom from the world’s grips and its destructive hold over you.
Some are torn by the loss of a treasured life.
Yet, even in our deepest pain, we can find God if we’re looking.
That day I held a most resilient butterfly, who like so many of you prove:
“Greater is He that is within me, than he who is in the world.”
What if we lived our whole lives–our earthly lives–and never realized the fullness of God’s love, thinking we are too damaged, missing His true love for us?
As tattered butterflies, we must end our struggling and fly into the face of beauty.
God will strengthen us to surmount our trials because He can, because He wants to and will.
Wherever you are, I pray you live richly and fly free.
August 2017 A Butterfly Tale
As Bill and I are trying to visit all of the states together ( the rules are we have to spend at least one night–not just a drive through or airport stop), I was researching the next three states we were to visit last month.
I noticed there was a Butterfly House on Mackinac Island we could visit while in Michigan. Oddly enough, in driving through Illinois (a state we didn’t need to visit) we could stop for a few hours to visit one of Illinois’ top places to visit– a Caterpillar Museum. A caterpillar museum? It seemed unusual enough since I’ve only visited butterfly gardens and houses.
Once I googled the site to find out the days they were open, etc., I was shocked to discover, the museum isn’t even about the furry little critters that transform into butterflies. It’s filled with big yellow tractors with Caterpillar emblazoned across them!
Needless to say, we didn’t go.
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