Monday, August 18, 2014

butterflies, balloons, and the gospel of metamorphosis

In January, I asked God to name 2014 and He told me to call the year "New Things". I didn't understand it, but I liked the way those two words are full of hope and happiness, like a dozen rainbow balloons flying out of your hands up into clouds and distant horizons.

So I named it and I claimed it and this is the year of New Things.

In the Spring we walked up to the front door one day and saw a dozen caterpillars diligently crawling along the eaves of our house, seeking safe places to hide while they became new things. It seemed like a blessing, to be chosen by so many creatures as a place of metamorphosis. We checked their progress daily, finally laughing all delighted with wonder when we saw brand new Mourning Cloak butterflies emerge before our eyes.

Two weeks ago, Boy 3 brought one of those butterflies right in the house from the yard. It was tattered and worn, a broken butterfly with many stories to tell. We let it sit on the windowsill for a few hours that afternoon and whisper its secrets to us. Butterflies are magical creatures, made from God's love of beauty and wonder, and their silent presence is full of His soulful depth.

I don't know if God sent us that butterfly or not, but I know He spoke to me when it fluttered away into our yard later, "Broken wings can fly free, too." Well. I suppose they can, now can't they?

Moment by moment I am learning so many new things this year. Mostly, I am learning that I've been crawling up brick walls for a while now, seeking a safe place to cocoon and transform. This is the year of New Things, metamorphoses, and wings that carry me up to the happy destinations of rainbow balloons.

I may be a little quiet here on the blog while I sort out the details of it all. I will still be writing, I will still be working, I will still be loving Jesus and all that He is doing. But balloons and butterflies and the words of a Holy God are best heard in a quiet place. So, I hope that you hear some words of your own, and that when I am back, we will share all the mysteries we have learned about ourselves and God.

Because that's where this is all leading, isn't it? To a mysterious place called tomorrow, and there is more beauty in that than any other hope that rises heavenward. And for that hope, He is most worthy of our praise.

"I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

I will bow down toward your holy temple
    and will praise your name
    for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
    that it surpasses your fame.
When I called, you answered me;
    you greatly emboldened me."
Psalm 138:1-3

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