Even though the remarkably talented Pete Seeger wrote (what some music critics deem) the most influential folk song from the sixties (“Where Have All the Flowers Gone“)…it was the equally talented trio of Peter, Paul, and Mary whose beautifully blended voices blew the song right off the charts in the early 60’s.
My problem isn’t ‘Where have all the flowers gone?‘ (Many-in my garden)… it is ‘Where have all the butterflies gone?’
A friend from church, Michele, sent me a powerful anecdote from a daily devotional concerning butterflies and struggle. Suddenly I found myself struggling to even find one little butterfly anywhere around….(just not in my garden) to take a photo for this entry.
Then it “hit” me that I hadn’t seen any butterflies in days now, maybe weeks. In early spring they were everywhere but recently have completely disappeared.
I decided to have some fun with my neighbor/friend, Vickie, about this dilemma. The text went like this:
Me: “Vickie, do you have all the butterflies locked up in your garden-There are none in mine.”
Vickie: “No darlin.’ They don’t do shade. Just wait, they will find your secret garden.”
Me: “Ever since I planted all those butterfly plants and bushes they have disappeared-I had lots of them earlier in the spring-“nada” now. Apparently they don’t like the sun either.”
Vickie: “They will be back, probably busy making babies.”
Me: “Or…maybe they all followed the monarchs and are still nursing hang-overs in Mexico?”
I think Vickie and I would probably fail Sherlock Holmes “Deductive Reasoning” test. If anyone else out there (come on you science teachers) knows where the butterflies have gone…please let me know. They are missing out on some of their favorite foods.
When Michele sent me this story from a devotional she had recently read…it tickled a few memory neurons that implied I had heard it before. However, with so many friends and family members struggling with all kinds of issues lately… I thought it could come in helpful while searching for answers for those tough questions in our faith like: “Really God! Again? Can’t you find someone else to share all these major crises (medical/financial, emotional) with….spread the misery around equally, as well as, the joy?”
One day a naturalist, out in his garden, observed a most unusually large and beautiful butterfly, fluttering as though in great distress; it seemed to be caught as though it could not release itself. The naturalist, thinking to release the precious thing, took hold of the wings and set it free. It flew but a few feet and fell to the ground dead.
He picked up the poor thing, took it into his laboratory, and put it under a magnifying glass to discover the cause of its death. There he found the lifeblood flowing from the tiny arteries of its wings. Nature had fastened it to its chrysalis and was allowing it to flutter and flutter so that its wings might grow strong. It was the muscle-developing process that nature was giving the dear thing so that it might have an unusual range among the flowers and gardens.
If it had only fluttered long enough, the butterfly would have come forth ready for the wide range; but release ended the beautiful dream.
So with God’s children: how the Father wishes for them wide ranges in experience and truth. He permits us to be fastened to some form of struggle. We cry out in our distress and sometimes think Him cruel that He does not release us. He permits us to flutter and flutter on. Struggle seems to be His program sometimes…
(*Personally, I feel my faith tested the most when I watch a loved one struggle with seemingly endless amounts of problems. It is much easier to be the one struggling than the loved one watching another’s struggle… while feeling helpless to make it better.)
I remember finding this short video that helped me ( a visual learner) understand the importance of the cross we bear. Powerful!
The cross we bear – YouTube (1 minute/20 seconds)
So until tomorrow….Give me the strength Lord to carry the cross You have chosen for me and to keep the faith while watching others struggle with theirs….to support them by simply loving them unconditionally.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*Take a couple of more minutes and re-live the melody: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”
Peter, Paul, and Mary’s 25th anniversary concert