There are certain times of the year where we can depend on animal sightings annually recurring. For the fall, I count how many squirrels survive a mad dash across the street for that perfect nut. The others who were a little less fortunate are silently honored for their courage that failed them in that last moment of risk. During the winter, I look the skies for the millions of birds preparing for their sojourn south. My daughter and I pretend they are having traveling rallies when they congregate on the electrical lines in our neighborhood. We make up conversations for the chatter we hear overhead as we drive beneath them or walk into the grocery store. The summer is a time for those dag blasted mosquitoes to spread their little tiny wings and irritate me every time I walk out the door. My blood type has been a favorite of theirs since I was a little girl. It’s like I have happy hour written on my forehead and they flood the door to find the perfect table to talk with their friends about the hard day at work.
The spring brings millions of butterflies. They are beautiful and they are everywhere. Not a spring has passed in the five years or so that I have not cleared a path for a fat and hairy caterpillar in our garage. I want to make sure each one finds a place to rest and begin that beautiful process of metamorphosis because of the gift that God gives us with each emergence – a butterfly. I began noticing the delicacy and beauty of butterflies when I had my children. We walked around in the field a lot when we moved into our house. The grass had not grown and we had a lot full of weeds. My son and daughter thought they were flowers so we often took a look around. Although it took me a while, I picked up on how often the butterflies landed on them. With my encouragement, they remained still and watched the butterflies on each other. I explained to them that they were special to have butterflies land on them because they don’t land on just anybody. Quickly, it just became a way of life. If we went walking, the butterflies landed on them. We even stopped talking about it as if it was a phenomenon. We just knew that at least one of them would have an encounter with a butterfly as if they were just joining us for a walk. Everyone would acknowledge the butterfly’s arrival and keep talking as if it rightly belonged on the sleeve, on the back, or even on the forehead of the person it chose to rest.
I was recently reminded of how relaxing and comforting those walks and conversations with my children were when talking with a woman. She too had encountered a butterfly and oh what comfort it brought her, for days. It was then that I realized how much like butterflies in the spring are like God. They are everywhere taking care of busy. We do not really pay attention to them unless something happens like they land on us or we see one underfoot as we walk out of the house. But oh if we are still, we can truly appreciate them. They are busy working every time they land – their little body parts are furiously moving. It’s that way with God. He is everywhere. We pay attention to him when something monumental happens; the loss of a loved one, getting a new job, a body ache that won’t go away, or a kid that just won’t act right. But if we are caught up in the routine of life, we take Him for granted. Whenever we reach the “springs” in our life whether it is an April Storm or May Flowers, we remember to have a Conversation with a Butterfly, excuse me a Conversation with God. He is always ready to travel with us but do we always turn to Him.
Many people shoo away butterflies just like they shoo away God. He’s speaking and they ignore Him. He awakens them at 4:00 a.m. to spend time with Him, and they shoo him away. He even warns us that something we are about to do is certainly not the way to go, and we keep going anyway. As I encouraged my children to do when butterflies first began landing on them, we need to be still. When we are flailing about and running, a butterfly gets killed or quickly flies away, failing in their attempt to land. When God is talking to us, if we are moving around too much and concerned about other things, we kill our fellowship with Him. He wants to spend time with us and it is so peaceful. If you are not still, you won’t feel HIM. Just like my kids and I began to do after so many butterfly visits, you begin to take God for granted. But He is not to be taken for granted. Have the spirit of a child when you spend time with Him. Look at and listen to Him in awe. Just like the butterfly has a lot of work to do, God has a lot of work to do in YOU. Take some time to have a conversation with a butterfly. Excuse me, a Conversation with God.