Butterflies of Friendship
If I were to choose one creation miracle that speaks of the existence and majesty of God it would be the butterfly. The hungry caterpillar book can never do justice to a fat slug like bug weaving a web of silk or perhaps a coffin like burial only to emerge a few weeks later into the most frail and beautiful imago* that can fly and light up a garden.
These little creatures I have loved since a boy. Fishing net in hand, chasing down warm sunny lanes, to capture speeding Red Admirals or floppy Marbled Whites. Then with clammy hands retrieving and holding with awe such rare jewels before releasing them to their habitats. Not all made it, hard are the lessons and fragile the wings of butterflies. Scales of downy talc was left on my palm and tiny wings were damaged beyond repair so poor butterfly lazily floated onto the grass its flying days past.
Friendship mirrors my experience as a young boy with butterflies.
There can be elusive, rainy, dark days of loneliness searching for a friend or partner, chasing lanes and pathways to find that special one or group where we can belong. Yet that moment when we spot the opportunity and marvel at the grace and beauty of this new character can easily become clumsy moments of grabbing or grasping, trying to control and hold onto something we believe could bring us joy.
Cluttered the houses and homes of our nation, formal the churches, desperate the loneliness of those who have been handled then discarded.
Christian love is releasing love, it handles with gravity and yet lightness every person that God brings across our path. We can marvel and rejoice in their beauty and gifts. We can take pleasure in meals and deepening friendship and love without ever slipping into the ruination of grasping or controlling.
All relationships should be releasing, a parent with a child, a tutor with a pupil, a discipler with her disciple.
Heather and I have watched 4 children grow into adulthood, and prayed and rejoiced at steps and choices as they have each moved from slothful caterpillars eating you out of house and home to responsible adults that have taken their wings and flown.
In biology, the imago is the last stage an insect attains during its metamorphosis, its process of growth and development; it also is called the imaginal stage, the stage in which the insect attains maturity. Wikepedia