"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, "Hebrews 12:1About a month after Mama died I received a card from a neighborhood friend. In it were certainly words of love but also a gift card to Home Depot. Strange, I thought. But then I read the note enclosed, "Use this to create a memory of your Mom". Beautiful. And we did.
We researched, read, consulted and gathered plants for our very first butterfly garden. We planted and we've had beautiful blooms all summer. We have loved sitting outside and watching the hummingbirds, bumble bees and yes...finally the butterflies found us. And they keep coming.
(Now before I go further with this story, buckle up. Some of you are realists and live by fact not by emotion which is wonderful. Some of you, will think I've gone "woo-woo" too!)
Often times.....many times.....lots of times when I've been working in my yard or simply walking around my yard, I find a butterfly joins me. Usually, two beautiful yellow butterflies flutter about me. But we also have a black butterfly that visits occasionally. This one always makes me think of my Daddy. Daddy was so proud of his jet black hair and here I host a black butterfly in my backyard! They seem to make sure I see them. I've even experienced a fly-by! Seriously, I got a very close buzz. It happens so often now that my simple response has become, "Hey, Mama. Hey, Mama". It has unburdened my soul. My butterflies provide a call to prayer and thanksgiving for the gift of my mother and her love for our family.
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:23
As I walk through this time of my life, retired from a full-time career and now an empty-nester the butterflies of life matter. These small creatures are a reminder to me of God's glory and His delicate care of each of us. The life of retirement forces one to ask questions about life purpose and accomplishment. This time has encouraged me to follow God in the every-day-ness of life. Not the mountaintop experiences but the daily, valley of existence. Where we live! Where we serve! Where we follow Him! He's walking into the world, am I following?
My butterflies flutter everywhere! The hummingbirds are about to take their long journey south. Am I fluttering about those around me? Do I see those who need a fly-by of God's love through me? I've stored up enough reserves for the journey so its time I start the flight. Let's trust him in the valley of life to soar with the butterflies and offer life and hope and resurrection to those looking for a sign.