Pastoral Reflections- Rev. Robert P. Doner, pastor, Peace United Church of Christ Gladbrook, Iowa-“Butterflies”
October 18, 2013
“Butterflies” When I came home the other day I noticed a yellow butterfly frantically trying to get through the screen of the garage window. It obviously knew where it wanted to go, but, as obviously, couldn’t get there. Complicating matters was a web in the corner of the window. I pictured the poor thing, its wings madly flapping, becoming enmeshed in the web, some spider’s next meal. I picture one other scenario as well. Sometimes our cats find refuge in the garage. They love anything and everything that moves. Grasshoppers, ladybugs: anything-that shows quick movement attracts attention. The cat loves to pretend that they are big game hunters, sneaking up on their prey and pouncing. With these images in mind I decided that I would try to set the butterfly free. It is not so easy, on the spur of the moment, to catch and release a butterfly. You have to be careful about how you do it. I finally found an empty container and a piece of cardboard to act as a lid; as carefully as I could I let the butterfly flutter into the container and slid the cardboard over the opening. Going outside I released the captive, who frantically flew off into the freedom it had so much wanted in the first place. Since then I’ve spent some time looking around and enjoying the butterflies that are currently passing through. I’ve allowed myself the pleasure of remembering how much I loved watching them when I grew up as a child in rural Illinois. Today I have seldom seen any monarch butterflies-I’m told that is rarer and rarer to see them. Still, I wonder now, as I did as a child, where these wonderful and beautiful creatures go after that have fluttered into my life and then disappeared. I guess that God appreciates my taking the time to think about such things. The world is busy enough without ignoring those unsolicited moments of contemplation-those rare and inspiring moments to remember past journeys and to reflect on the journeys to come. I wish you moments like that-and may those moments bring you infinite joy.
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