The children in our day school spent the past few weeks observing the life cycle of butterflies. Needless to say, their sense of awe and wonder was priceless as the creatures moved from one stage to the next. It’s hard to imagine how something so squiggly (and homely) as a caterpillar can metamorphose into something so splendid, taking flight.
I was particularly intrigued by the chrysalis stage, which is the longest and where most of the growth occurs. The caterpillar hangs upside down and attaches itself to a branch or strong surface; and I’ve been told that they are aware of the sensors around them – both good and bad.
While it appears that nothing much is taking place on the outside, on the inside the body of the caterpillar is slowly dissolving (liquefying) and completely rearranging itself into something new and spectacular. And then finally, one day, the butterfly breaks free and pushes its way out into the world fully alive.
In a way, I’m thinking there are parallels to our own spiritual journey, how:
- Each life stage has its own purpose and is necessary to prepare us for the next
- Growth is not always measurable but small changes evolve into something mature and beautiful
- We might be barely hanging on (or upside down) but even that has its place
- With time, patience, and effort, we are being transformed into our true selves
- There is a higher power at work if we give ourselves over to the process
This is the heart of our faith and the hope of Resurrection.
On Wednesday morning, the children took a field trip to Central Park where they let loose the butterflies for all to see and experience. I hope the next time you see a butterfly it will remind you of the special person you were created to be – beautiful, free, graceful, and emerging.
Grace and peace,