Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
As we move away from winter and into Spring I thought this was a great story to think about.
"Poor little butterfly," the young girl said. "Poor little butterfly."
Then reaching down slowly so as to not scare it away, she slid her tiny fingers underneath, urging it to step upon her hand.
It would appear to anyone that this delicate creature was lifeless leaving behind remains of what once was.
But not her. She sensed something. She knew right away that there was indeed some life left in this most fragile example of God's work.
The butterfly nearly tumbled onto her hand, wings folded straight up, apparently unable to fly.
Then, perhaps it was the warmth of her hands or the welcoming response to the attention it was given, but the butterfly began to walk slowly up to her palm.
"Poor little butterfly," she repeated again as she brought it closer to her face.
"If I could kiss you I would, " she said.
The butterfly, appearing to respond, slowly opened its wings, to reveal its beautiful design and colors. Now open fully, the child brought it closer and gave an angel's kiss of love.
Just off in the distance watching this precious moment, her grandmother walked toward them.
"Oh, you have found it," she said. "I was waiting for it and wondered where it was."
The child looked a bit surprised and said. "You were waiting for this butterfly? Why?"
"It is sent to remind us," grandmother said.
"But it is dying. I feel sorry for it. Don't they fly away when it gets cold?"
"Yes, they do. But one is always chosen to remain behind," she said.
Maybe this was just grandmother's way of softening the truth so that the child would not be saddened by the thought of the butterfly dying. But what unfolded here was an incredible moment, an opportunity seen and taken to teach a lesson of love.
"Why would they choose to be left behind?" the child asked as she gently stroked the butterfly.
"They don't choose to be, they are chosen," she told her.
The child looked down again and held it closer.
"It is a great honor to be chosen. The story goes that God realized that when winter comes color disappears. The color of the flowers fade into the earth and all the delicate butterflies leave for warmer places. So, God decided that one should remain to remind us of the beautiful world He has created and the promise of Spring's return."
The child looked down and then lifting her head slowly, she whispered, "And I found it, grandmother."
"Yes, and with that you have a great responsibility," she said as she held the young girl's face in her hands.
"You must now take time to see God's colors in the darkness of winter. You must be the sunshine. You must help those who have forgotten how beautiful life is, to see the color of God's love for them."
"Oh, grandmother. I don't know how to," she said.
"It is simple. Be yourself. People believe only what they see. Like the flowers and butterflies. But God makes people beautiful inside. It is up to us to bring that beauty out by loving each other, helping each other and when we find someone who has fallen, just like that butterfly, it is up to us to pick them up, caress them and care for them. For one day it may very well be His Chosen One left behind."
The child moved closer to her grandmother as they sat admiring God's messenger.
Take time to see the beauty, the colors of God in the people around you. Reach out to them in love.
You, too may find the "Poor little butterfly!"
Dear Lord, help us take the time to see Your beauty and not only that but to share it with those around us. Thank You for all You have given to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.