It has been warm in our neck of the woods. In an attempt to allow some cooler air into the house without spending a zillion dollars for more air conditioning, we have been leaving our front and back doors open for about an hour a day.
As we were getting ready for bed the other night, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. It was a butterfly! A butterfly had made its way through one of our open doors. We attempted to “shepherd” it out of one of the bedroom windows, but to no avail.
I did not want to touch it. First of all, it was just beautiful. My concern was that I didn’t want to put it in danger. I had heard that touching the wings of a butterfly could fade the colors of the wings, minimizing the patterns on the butterfly’s wings and putting it in possible increased danger from predators. I am not sure it is true, but I wasn’t willing to take any chances.
My husband and I tried everything, but we needed to get to bed. So we finally gave up. In the middle of the night, I had awakened needing to use the restroom. I walked especially gingerly so as not to endanger my new winged friend. When I woke up the next morning, the butterfly was nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere. But, the busyness of the day took over and I forgot all about the butterfly.
A full two days went by. No butterfly.
I had almost completely forgotten about her. I don’t know why I think all butterflies are girls, they can’t be. But I still thought of this beautiful creature as a “Sally”, or “Bonnie”, rather than a “Bruce” or “Charlie”. After much deliberation in my head, I decided to call her “Beatrice”.
And then she appeared.
She made her way through the house to the front room. I did not see her. I could hear my husband’s booming voice: “The butterfly! The butterfly is alive!” (He did not know that her name was Beatrice.) He ran to the front door. Sunlight flooded the front entrance to our house. Scott kept the door open. He spoke to Beatrice as if she was versed in the English language.
I don’t know if it was the sunshine or the really cute guy speaking English, but Beatrice did find the door and ultimately, freedom.
We cheered. We celebrated. And then I found myself a little sad that she was gone.
Our daughter, Judah, is nineteen years old. Although she is still living at home while attending college, I know that our time with her living in the house is limited.
I also know that much like a butterfly, disallowing her to spread her wings would be harmful.
There are, in fact, many parallels between our firstborn child and Beatrice, the butterfly. As with Beatrice, there are days that Judah’s busy schedule means that we don’t really see much of her for days at a time. In addition, we want our sweet girl to fly – to experience life in the real world and to soar in success. Finally, we recognize that the most effective way to encourage her flight is to open the door of opportunity and point her to the true Light, Jesus Christ (John 8:12).
Proverbs 22:6 challenges Sunday School teachers, aunts and uncles, children and youth pastors, and parents to “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (NIV)
God has given us the responsibility to love, train, serve as an example, and point the children in our lives toward the Light, Jesus Christ. It is a huge honor and responsibility and I feel so blessed that God has allowed my husband and I the chance to watch our children grow in the Lord.
And someday soon, the door of our home will open and our beautiful butterfly will spread her wings and fly. Every parent prepares for that moment with their children. In the meantime, I am just going to try and enjoy every day with her.
About the Author
Amberly Neese is a popular speaker/teacher, comedian, author, and all-around encourager dedicated to helping you become the joyful person you were created to be.
She helps people like you experience the freedom found in meaningful relationships with God and others. Her bible study, “The Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive” was released in May 2020 by Abingdon Press.
She and her husband have two teenagers and live in Prescott, Arizona, where they enjoy the great outdoors, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars.
Author of “the Belonging Project: Finding Your Tribe and Learning to Thrive” (Abingdon Press, 2020)
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