Friday, August 12, 2016

Butterflies and Boys

Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 221: Today, I am grateful for butterflies and boys.

This year, I intentionally looked for plants to attract butterflies. I am not sure if I have been successful, but the intent was there. I love to watch them flutter and float. The monarch in this image is a common sight where we live, so I sometimes forget how truly spectacular the butterfly can be. 

When Chase was little. he could pick out a book by Eric Carle in a library full of books.  I took him to the downtown Peoria library one summer and even when spread out in different areas of the children's section, his eye would capture the art he knew and love. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" was one that ended up on our home book shelf... and not surprising...Walker loved it, too. 

Life is so full of seasons and changes. The butterfly is a dramatic reminder of this lesson. The season of chomping through leaves...eating his way to full caterpillar plumpness is part of the process.  Some are beautiful in their wormy way. Others, are not. They are more creepy, crawly than amazing in that season. They are not always welcome, as they do what nature designed them to be. Then...comes the cocoon. 

I am a little claustrophobic. I don't even like drapes closed. I need windows and natural light. When I think of a caterpillars cocoon, I cringe. How can they stand it? The dark closeness of the womb-like cocoon after knowing the fresh air and the garden.  Even when considered an unwanted pest, the caterpillar still had freedom and fresh air. The cocoon is a season of darkness in a cramped, tight place. But in that season, it must find trust and rest. Changes are happening in the hidden, secret place. 

Metamorphosis is not easy. It is not without discomfort. Time passes. Patience wins out. After the days as a caterpillar. After the time in dark captivity, comes a new life. just the right time...the butterfly works it's way free of the cocoon to discover that life will never be the same. He will never take freedom for granted again. In the season of discomfort, darkness and change... something wonderful has happened.  He has wings. Wings! 

Tentatively, the butterfly tries out the new wings. Then, courage conquers fear and he flies for the first time. What a rush. Then his attention turns to looking for a sweet place to land. The process will never stop being amazing. It is too miraculous. How God must have labored over this magnificent creature. 

Today, Chase turns 25. No longer a little boy. Again, we are reminded that time goes by so fast. They find their wings, and we pray God's light and protection on their lives. Walker will soon return to college and continue the transformation that occurs in those years. It has it's cocoon moments and opportunities to try out new wings. As parents, we want to protect them from the hard things, but those are often the very experiences that help them grow, change and transform. Metamorphosis is amazing. 

I am reminded of the promises in Revelation 21:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment." -Revelation 21:4-6

Today, I am grateful for butterflies and boys...and a God who makes all things new. 

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