We’d just returned home from a friend’s house, and the kids were outside while I put on casual clothes. Confession – I got distracted by email – and next thing I know my daughter is standing in front of me with a huge grin on her face, hands clasped tightly in front of her.
“Mommy, guess what I caught!”
Over the last couple summers we have planted perennials designed to attract butterflies. Occasionally, we’ll see a brightly colored Monarch, but usually the butterflies are pure white with maybe a bit of green running along the vein lines.
I gulped and tried to match her excitement. “A butterfly?”
“Yes. Look!” And she opened her hands. The dazed butterfly stood on her palm for a moment and then took off. In the office. Heading straight for the window. “Catch it, Mom!”
I am not a trained butterfly catcher. I can’t even remember catching them as a child. I love to watch them and provide food for them, but catch one?
I eyed the window. The office’s window is framed by wooden blinds that don’t retract anymore. The butterfly is trapped against the window, and I’m trying to figure out how to reach it without giving it a stroke or crushing it.
First, I pull up the window, trying to think of a way to pop the screen and send the butterfly to freedom that way. Abigail panicked and accused me of crushing it. The butterfly hyperventilated – at least that’s what I think all the frantic beating of its wings represented.
Second, we lowered the window and tried to coax the butterfly to fly past the blinds. It never considered leaving the light.
Finally, I sent Abigail downstairs for a large cup, and I plopped it over the top of the butterfly. Then we slipped a piece of paper between the window sill and the cup to form a lid. In moments I had it outside and shook it out of the cup and into one of the flowerbeds.
Abigail skipped away to chase more butterflies, and I considered what I’d just seen. How often does God encourage us to come toward Him and freedom, and we beat our heads against a plate of glass that appears to lead to safety. Instead, its counterfeit. The butterfly would have died quickly if left to beat against the window. God woos us in many ways back to Him, but in the end always grants us the freedom to choose. Will we love Him or will we go our own way.