As the hammock swayed gently back and forth, I closed my eyes and let my mind drift to childhood memories of the smell of homemade sweets that often filled my mother’s kitchen. Unmistakable aromas of cinnamon and the fresh-baked fullness of a bakery...
Then I heard my child’s voice, “Mom. I‘m home.”
Jolted back to reality, I called, “I’m in the back yard, Brandon.”
I gave my 7-year-old a big hug, and we sat down at the kitchen table to enjoy a glass of milk and a peanut butter cookie.
“How was school today, sweetie?”
“It was real cool, Mom. We learned all about caterpillars. And we got to touch one, too.”
“That is cool.”
“Yeah. And you know what? I think caterpillars are ticklish!”
“Ticklish? What makes you think that Bran?”
“Well, when I rubbed my finger along its back, it wiggled around. Just like I do when you or Dad tickle me.”
Trying not to laugh out loud, I jostled his brown, curly hair with my hand. “You know what? I never thought of that before. What else did you learn?”
Brandon explained how the caterpillar eats and eats until it gets so full that it has to take a nap. And while it sleeps inside its silky cocoon, it turns into a butterfly. “It’s a miracle, Mom. No other creature that God created can do that.”
“I saw a butterfly today. Outside on the lilac bush. How about us going to see if it’s still there or if any other ones have joined it?”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
Beside the garage was the lilac shrub where I had seen one earlier. We actually found a butterfly dancing gracefully among the blossoms, stopping now and then to suck the sweet nectar from deep within each bloom. It apparently sensed that we were watching, though, because it suddenly flittered off.
“Wow, Mom? Wasn’t it beautiful?”
We walked around the yard looking for more butterflies.
“You know, I remember when I visited a butterfly farm as a little girl, I learned that each butterfly species needs a different plant on which to live and deposit their eggs. They were created to exist on specific food from specific flowers. Would you like to go to a butterfly farm and see how many kinds there are?“
“Yes, oh yes. Can we go this weekend?“
The next Saturday, we all went to the farm, and when we arrived, we were blessed to see a many mosaic-winged butterflies in every color imaginable. We pointed out to Brandon how the patterns and colors on the top of the wings of some of the butterflies were completely different from those on the bottom of their wings. In fact, no two butterflies were alike. At least, we didn’t see any.
Our inquisitive son asked many questions, and he was so excited as he watched them swarm around the numerous flowering bushes and trees. Sometimes they blended in so well, that we had to look closely to be sure they were actually there, and when we did, they sensed our intrusion and Brandon delighted in the sudden burst of color that exploded from the foliage as all the butterflies seemed to scatter at the same time.
“Wow. They look like flying flowers! God’s flying flowers!”
My husband and I looked at each other, and John commented, “You are so right, son. They do look like flowers. Flowers with wings.“
On the ride home, we discussed the complexity of God’s universe, and how butterflies were one of His most beautiful creations, and how learning about and watching the butterflies made us appreciate the wisdom, power and ability of our Creator.
“We’re a lot like butterflies ourselves, Brandon. We are uniquely made, and God has designed a specific plan for each of our lives that is unlike any one else’s. And, just like the butterfly that emerges from its cocoon and is released into freedom, we, too, will be resurrected one day and be free of earth’s trials.”
It had been a wonderful day of family fun and fellowship, and as I said good-night to our son and closed the door behind me, I felt full of God’s grace and peace. Remembering Brandon’s words, it was a blessing to visualize how one day we would all be “flying flowers”. Free like the butterfly to enjoy the sweet nectar of the heavenly life our Father has prepared for us.
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