The early afternoon was like any other. My daughter, Samantha and I would go outside to play for a few minutes just before our afternoon rest. The sun was shining brightly and Samantha, as usual, was picking flowers and enjoying the nature around her. When suddenly, she yelled for me to “Come quick.” I ran over to the edge of our driveway where she had noticed in the gutter a beautiful butterfly that appeared stuck in the mud from the gunk of the gutter. With one wing down, saturated, and the other upright flapping as hard as it could, Samantha cried out, “We have to save it!” Me? Save a butterfly? I knew nothing about butterflies, but I could see the determined look in that little girl’s face and so we ran inside to find a container and scoop our newest patient into.
After safely bringing the butterfly inside our home, I immediately called my friend who teaches Science. She said we should put some grass and twigs into the container to help the butterfly feel like it’s still in its environment but then add some sugar water for the butterfly to consume. With hope in our hearts, Samantha and I got straight to work in building a sweet and comforting environment for this little treasure. We couldn’t wait to see the butterfly grow strong so that we could release it to the wild again. Samantha checked in on our butterfly friend all throughout the day and made certain to give it proper ventilation for its evening rest. Then she too, went to sleep.
The next morning came and Samantha and I anxiously went to visit our friend. We arrived to the container only to find our butterfly buddy had passed away. I was crushed. Samantha seemed sad but not like I was. I couldn’t understand what went wrong. We did everything we were told to do to help this butterfly and yet it still didn’t make it. How could this be? I was quite indignant about the whole situation and to the side even asked, “God, if this butterfly was just going to die anyway WHY did you even get us involved to help it?” Well, wouldn’t you know . . . if you ask God a question, you better be prepared for what He might say in return. “This butterfly died in sweetness and in love instead of in a dirty, old gutter all by itself, that’s why.” My heart stood still. Compassion swept over me like a soft summer rain as I began to understand . . . God’s mercy wasn’t bringing us into the butterfly’s life but bringing that butterfly into ours.
We tenderly removed our butterfly friend and placed her in a nice shady place . . . lying her onto a sugary leaf . . . we prayed over the little life that God has so graciously allowed us to take a part in. Samantha and I went on to pick flowers like we did every day and run and jump in the sun but this time as we passed that dirty old gutter, no longer did we see dirt and filth but instead we were on the lookout for a new life that God might just bring our way!
Article Written By: Cindy Aitkin