Have you ever heard of someone hating butterflies? These colorful winged creatures seem to live a peaceful life around flowers. They don’t bite or sting, they don’t buzz around your face, and they aren’t destructive (except for the hatched caterpillar eating the leaf it was born on). What’s not to like?
Butterflies have a spiritual connection. In thinking Easter thoughts, a Christian can relate to the metamorphosis stage where, within the chrysalis, old body parts of the larva are undergoing a transformation. What may have appeared to be dead is not. The butterfly emerges and rests before it flies off within a few hours. So many people associate a butterfly with a symbol of eternal life.
One of my friends has an amazing story of the graveside service of her son. Dozens of butterflies surrounded the mourners and provided the family with a sense of God’s peace over Russell’s death.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned butterflies are short-lived. On average, their lifespan is 2-4 weeks. Some live only two days. Others, such as the Monarch and Mourning Cloak, may live for 6-12 months.
I didn’t want to believe it. Coming across that fact upset me. I wanted the reality to be that butterflies were like hummingbirds and simply migrated to warmer climates in the harsh weather. I wanted to believe that each spring for years I was seeing old friends return.
This strikes me as a sad aspect of nature. I wonder why God the Creator chose this short pattern of life for this spectacular creature? It’s on my list of questions for Him.
I’m hoping if butterflies realize what a tiny span of existence they’ve been granted, they decide to make the most of that time. Maybe that’s why they’re so peaceful.
One of the dismissal blessings at my church is based on a quote by the Swiss poet Henri-Frédéric Amiel:
Remember that life is short and we have too little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So be quick to be kind, make haste to love, and may the blessing of God Almighty: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you now and always.
Life IS short. We too are here on earth for a tiny span of existence, some shorter and some longer. What shall we do to gladden the hearts of others?
To my readers: Post a comment about someone who has made life easier for you.