How Chasing Butterflies Can Teach You About Faith

She sits in her laundry basket in the backyard, quietly breathing in the cool of the summer afternoon.  The garden needs tending after a lot of rain has caused a sudden burst of growth.  The laundry sways, dancing on the line. Clouds shift and scurry overhead, cooling and heating intermittently.  Finches swoop around and about in a mating ritual, while cardinals sing their two-note melody.
One brother is on the deck, inventing a war ship out of a line of rope and a second laundry basket.  Another carries a bamboo stick around, enmeshed in his own world, always heroic, always winning, always striving.  Until…..a butterfly floats past on the breeze.
His attention is stolen from his world, and he begins to chase the butterfly.  Dodging right and left, around apple tree, hither and yon, he pursues…until the butterfly escapes over a high fence.  I call him, with low voice beckoning.  Come see this miracle.  Come slowly, or you’ll miss it. There is a young butterfly near me on the deck, spreading its wings.
He creeps quietly, silently over to the butterfly and watches it as stretches its wings and takes flight.  His eyes are enrapt, his posture tense, until the moment of flight. Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash
As he retreated to his bamboo stick and imagination, he spoke to me in passing, “Mom, I guess if you’re quiet and careful you can see him.”
And his words sunk into my heart that has been saddened by so many current events.  A heart torn repeatedly.
And it’s not the first time this day that the Holy Spirit has used the small voices around me to speak words of truth.

“If you’re quiet and careful you can see Him.”

And I draw a deep breath and remember the words from Isaiah.
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
And I have renewed strength and renewed trust that what is broken can be made whole.

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