Saturday, June 9, 2012

How to Feed a Wild Butterfly

"Butterfly cotton candy"
 First you must rescue a butterfly from the wild.... my son found this one on a dusty gravel road.  We're pretty sure that this is a Canadian tiger swallowtail butterfly. We learned years ago from the owners of "Wings of Wonder," a large indoor butterfly conservatory and commercial rearing lab located in Buena Vista, Oregon, that you can feed butterflies with a cotton swab dipped in sugar water. 
It really loves this stuff!

Little sister tries feeding it a handful of wildflowers...

I see you, do you see me?

Can we keep it forever?

Inserting the cotton swab into an old nail hole in the cabin wall...
 My son had the great idea of letting the butterfly stay over night on the wall above his bed perched on the sugar dipped cotton swab.  It didn't seem like it was doing really well and he was concerned.  The next morning we awoke to see it had finally spread it's wings fully, ready to fly.
The butterfly awakes, wings fully spread.

Releasing the butterfly back into the wild....
The hardest part is always letting go.... the previous day the children had taken turns holding and observing the butterfly.  We had gone on a hike/bike ride away from the cabin when my son found this lame butterfly.  We all took turns carrying it all the way back home and enjoyed watching it cling to our fingers.  We were very careful to not touch the wings, knowing it would damage its ability to fly. 

Almost four years ago or more, when we lived in Oregon, my son found a tiger swallowtail caterpillar outside and put it in a pickle jar.  He sort of forgot about it until one day he woke up and saw a "brilliant flash of yellow."  It actually hatched!  It was right at Christmas time and it lived for seven days.  We had our Christmas tree up and let it roost in there before we put ornaments up.  It flew around the house and then would drop suddenly.  Daddy named it "Butterfall" do to its inability to fly well.   When it died, my son took it the hardest because it was a real pet to him that he loved in such a short time. 

Now that same little son is my teenager!  He has grown and matured and realizes the painful truth about life and death.  He lost his best friend almost two years ago now.  He knows his friend is in heaven but he still misses him.  He didn't want to spend time with this new butterfly and I wondered why.  The memory of his precious "Butterfall" was to fresh.  He didn't want to be disappointed again.  I shared how the fear of disappointment can leave us without the confidence to make new precious memories, yes, even at the cost of more hurt.  Good memories are always costly but worth the experience, the understanding and the knowledge gained.  Pain, grief, and emotional hurt is part of real life.  We fear the anguish, but can embrace the one who designed life and reject what has brought death into the world.  If we want to be fierce and angry about something, let it be the right thing:  sin.  The ugliest most pitiful and tangible thing I know.  It's real and it destroys.  How often do we joke and make light of a little wrong doing?  How bad is too bad?  God forgives right?  Sin causes death and destruction.  It is serious.  Disobedience has serious consequences. 

Yet, just as serious is the love of God!  How could we reject his plan for salvation with the idea that we don't really need him.  Or perhaps we feel that we're just to busy at the moment and will sit down someday and figure it out.  Maybe we've been deceived into thinking that sin and Heaven and Hell and all that Bible stuff is a fairytale.   If we could only think that, we'd be free to live life as we pleased, right? 

BUT.... what if, we are missing all these beautiful, joy filled memories with the very one who created us?  What if we are cutting him out of our life because of fear of hurt.  Surely, the God of the Universe couldn't care that much for me that He would involve himself in my life?  What if the answer is yes, He does care that much!!!  Someone had to take the risk of relationship in your life.  Jesus Christ is that risk taker.  He took it all the way to death!  And back again!  You can depend on Him for your life, abundant and free because he broke the power of sin and death.  That's the good news, that's the salvation known to all of mankind for all time:  He lives.  Because He lives, you are so free!  God's forgiveness covers all, let it be you too, today!

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