I saw a butterfly today, for the first time this spring. I had just walked almost the whole length of the college campus, from one class to the next. It was an enjoyable walk, but with the 20 pounds of books on my back, I was happy for a few minutes to sit in the shade before the next class.
That’s when I saw it, golden-yellow with intricate black designs, fluttering a couple feet above my head. Of course, it didn’t stay there long. Butterflies never stay anywhere long. I followed it with my eyes as it flitted past me and danced its way toward a pine tree and beyond it, out of my sight.
I wished that I could follow it, join it in its carefree, non-choreographed, yet perfect, dance.
I’ve always loved butterflies.
And the adjectives used to describe them
They, like the birds of the air that sometimes join them in their dance and like the flowers of the meadows they skip across and love, are “careless in the care of God.”
From sky blue to buttery yellow. From pumpkin orange to moss green. Every color of the rainbow and more, with unique designs painted across their powdery wings, their colors reflect a promise dancing toward the horizon.
People often say, free as a bird. For some reason, though, I like free as a butterfly. Every time they come to rest, it is in a different and new place.
Every day, it is new fields, new flowers they visit, new eyes who delight in their fragile beauty.
And imagine the freedom
Of first crawling on the ground, a creature despised, unattractive, hopeless.
Then bound, trapped, claustrophobic.
Then fighting for release from its tight cage.
Then finally, breaking loose and flying free.
I think that would deserve the label “free” more than any other creature.
To know the bondage of crawling upon the earth
And then to be released in flight.
No wonder they don’t stay anywhere long, and make a different place their home each night.
No wonder they are always seen in danciful flight.
If I had been likewise freed, wouldn’t I be flying too?
But wait . . . I have.
“He that the Son made free is free indeed.”