The other day my sweet neighbor friend invited my kids and me to her house for a Butterfly Release. She had studied Painted Lady caterpillars with her preschool class, and they had formed their chrysalises and were ready to emerge as beautiful new butterflies any day. This has now become a treasured tradition, as she’s invited us to join her in this endeavor the last few Aprils, and we love her for it.
I felt sad. Sad for my kids, the oldest of whom was sure to ask why 4 out of the 5 would so beautifully and gracefully fly away, while this one flapped awkwardly to meet its demise. I felt sad for the butterfly soon to die of starvation, or perhaps more mercifully as someone else’s quick lunch. And I felt sad for the flaw in the plan, the caterpillar not fully emerging as the beautiful butterfly; surely it didn’t deserve this outcome!
Like a brick to the head the truth hit me, and I realized, again, how the Fall back in the garden of Eden has changed so much. Death, decay, ruin, brokenness, cancer, abuse, deceit, sin–all a part of our every day life, affecting how we interact with one another and have fellowship with God.
Almost as quickly as the sadness for this butterfly came on, I felt a swell of hope: this butterfly’s suffering would soon be over. What a small, simple picture of Easter for me to tell my children. Friday, but Sunday’s coming. Sadness, death, mourning — and then new life, in the most beautiful way, all in God’s preordained timing. He didn’t forget, He didn’t forsake…He planned it all along.
Telling myself and my kids the truths of the gospel in every day mundane tasks can sometimes be really hard, it’s almost easier at a funeral or on holidays. I’m grateful for this tangible, beautiful, gentle, age-appropriate (for 55, 33, 4, and 1 year olds!) reminder of new life in a broken world.
Hosanna in the highest! Salvation has come.