The sanctuary is adorned with butterflies. After the cold and colorless winter, these colorful wood-cut butterflies take center focus to continue the Easter story. New life is indeed springing forth. The events of chaos and tragedy don’t have the final word. Transformation awaits.
The heady theological notions I am prone to entertain in my overly intellectualized experience of Christianity somehow become known and experienced differently when I look at those butterflies. In awe at the wondrous and weird part of creation, I wonder where transformation is underway in the community, in the church, in my parishioners, and in me. And I wonder if my eyes will be open to see the transformations emerging from the safety of a chrysalis. Will I see the new life breaking forth, sunning itself, and figuring out how to ride the breeze in this new season? I hope so.
What about you?
As I sit outside the church, watching the thistle growing an inch a minute, and resisting the urge to run over and pluck them up, I’m aware that many of us drop our heads and shift our gaze to matters and things more akin to weeds rather than butterflies. We get focused on the stuff that threatens to change the landscape and sabotage our well-laid plans and carefully manicured efforts. But too much focus on the weeds of life means we’ll miss the butterflies. Too much focus on the prickly stuff means we’ll miss seeing moments of transformation and new life all around us.
What would it take for you to adjust your gaze?
It is true that we put the butterflies up in the sanctuary because they’re pretty and because our kids made them and we were excited to celebrate their contribution to our community. But we’ve decided to keep them up there behind the altar so that we have the opportunity to practice casting our gaze upwards, paying attention, and celebrating the new season, the new life emerging in our world and in us, and the fundamental beauty and blessedness of our world that God has declared since the very beginning.
Laura Arnold, Program Support/Adjunct
Lay Education and Technology