So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
I never would have guessed that the large butterfly picture mounted on the wall in my Village Church office would become such a conversation piece. Church members and visitors comment on it regularly when walking by my office or stopping in for a visit. The enlarged photo of a butterfly perched on a fern frond has elicited many reflections, responses and reactions over the past year. I’ve discovered that there are many members of our church who, like me, are drawn to the butterfly as a spiritual symbol. Butterflies are special to a lot of us!
My love of butterflies began when I discovered that the butterfly has long been a symbol of the resurrection and of the new life one can find in Christ. A few years ago my interest in butterflies drew me to a book by the spiritual writer Sue Monk Kidd called, When the Heart Waits. Kidd uses the life cycle of the butterfly as a metaphor for the Christian life. She writes beautifully about life transitions, comparing them to the cocoon of a butterfly. Kidd explains that during difficult transitions God can transform us so that something spectacular is created in us – Out of dark, cocoon-like times of challenge and change can come something new that is beautiful and ready to soar.
After reading Kidd’s book, it seemed especially fitting to have a butterfly picture in an office where pastoral care visits take place. Beloved members of our Village Church family come into my office with stories of loss, doubt, fear and struggle. They talk about the challenging changes taking place in their lives. They talk about life transitions that were unexpected or are overwhelming. During these pastoral visits the image of the butterfly hangs on the wall reminding us that God promises to be with each of us during all of life’s challenges. God promises to work in us and through us during these “cocoon times”. If we make space for God’s presence during these times of change, something new and beautiful can take flight.
Gracious God, thank you for working in us and through us even during the most challenging times. Help us make space for you in our lives so you can do this work of transformation. May we emerge from our dark cocoons with a new kind of beauty and the ability to soar. Amen