The Butterfly Lady
She's affectionately called, "The Butterfly Lady."
She ventures into her garden which is beautifully wild with fragrant, color saturated flowers. Lantana is sprinkled throughout. It juts into the open spaces in a way that draws the eye...as it does butterflies...up into the thick of it.
They look a bit like tiny threads, she said of the caterpillars. She knows how to identify them even though they are easily overlooked and often unseen by the common eye. Her eyes search with intentionality. Her heart leads with a devotion to search for them and a desire to see them reach their full potential. She gathers because she knows the world can be a cruel place for them to try and find wholeness alone.
As she works, she foresees the beautiful colors that lie on the other side of the process. She imagines the new wings set to fly as the old pass away and the new comes. Her eyes are not deterred by their present circumstance. Rather, they are set on the realized promises that lay on the other side of safety and security.
She invites those gathered into her home, a climate-controlled and predator free environment. The root of much of their demise is found when their basic needs are unmet. So, she meets them...lavishly. She fills in the gaps where they once were vulnerable; growing is difficult enough without the looming threats of hunger and harassment.
Over time, the result of her lavish love is evident. Mere survival by instinct is no longer necessary. Now, life is abundant, safety is assumed, and salvation is steadfast. Those who were once easily overlooked and often unseen begin to glow so vibrantly with life it is impossible to overlook or un-see them.
She creates for them a sanctuary, but she knows their transformation never truly rests in her hands. Her love and intentionality gives them room to trust, and from there, they recede into the place where she was directing them all along...the cocoon. She simply sets apart a place for them to learn to be held in the hands of the One Who delights in setting them free.
Within the cocoon, He loves them to completion. He cuts away the flesh, and He heals the wounds. He teaches them to fly, even before their wings are ready. In this place, He makes them new.
Some take longer than others to be ready to emerge. He is patient, though , and so is she. He works while she waits. It is a treasured privilege to bear witness to the process of being made whole.
Then one day, sometimes on the most unexpected of days, the opaque shell begins to wear thin and reveals the colors of what will be widespread wings ready to fly.
Those first moments, the ones she had anticipated since first discovering them in her garden, when the cocoon begins to break open and something new is beginning...those moments are beautiful. Those are the moments she contemplates while she gathers. From now on, their experience of the world will be different. Not because the world has changed, but because He has changed them.
They shake their wings dry, shedding any last remnants that hold them on the ground. When His work is done and they are ready, she opens the door to what has been their sanctuary...and they fly free.
For a moment, she savors the beauty of their transformation and freedom. Then, she begins again, knowing there are more yet to be gathered.
Every move our sweet friend makes in caring for the butterflies in her garden mimics the journey our girls take from vulnerability to stability. For many years, we have dreamt of having a sanctuary, a set apart place here for them to find healing and wholeness in Him. Very soon, that dream will be realized, and our prayer will be answered.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17