Do you ever feel like a butterfly with tattered wings? Worn out, frumpy, hanging on while wanting to give up? There’s hope!
1 Samuel 16:7b
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Something Beautiful From Something…Not So
The monarch butterfly with tattered wings hovered over the vibrant pink flower, then landed. It probed the flower, searching for life-giving nectar. I wondered what stories and scenes it carried on its tattered wings. Had it migrated thousands of miles from Mexico? Or did the tattered wings signify trauma closer to its place of birth?
Regardless, monarchs have fascinated me since childhood, although words describing their life cycle don’t sound so fascinating.
Egg. Caterpillar. Pupa. Butterfly. Metamorphosis.
Ugly words, some of them. None of which describes the beauty of a monarch butterfly—orange, black, graceful, dancing, enduring, migrating.
My fascination started the summer I turned ten. I burst out of our hot house into the hotter North Carolina August. Pools of sweat formed behind my knees and trickled down my legs.
A shadow passed overhead, and I looked up, hoping against hope I wouldn’t see thunderheads crouching low in the sky. Instead, I saw a low-flying ribbon stretching for miles. Parts of the cloud drifted down low so that I could see the spotted bodies, vibrant orange and black wings separated by black lines like stained glass, and tiny antennae that made up the monarch.
Fascination kept me glued to the spot for almost an hour as the slow-moving swarm made their way south. When the migrating monarchs faded away, I ran inside to look up ‘Monarch’ in our blue and maroon bound set of World Book Encyclopedias. I discovered the Monarchs would travel to faraway Mexico and not return until winter’s end.
Tattered Wings Make No Difference
Butterflies don’t have to look perfect to fulfill their purpose in life. They can pollinate just as well whether they have tattered wings or perfect wings. A butterfly’s beauty doesn’t depend on the condition of its wings. God created each intricate detail of the butterfly to serve a purpose. Wing condition doesn’t matter.
Likewise, God created each of us in intricate detail. He gave each of us a purpose in life. Even though some of us migrate around a lot trying to discover our purpose, we have value during our journey. When I view my fellow butterflies, I need to remember outward appearances don’t matter (mine, nor theirs).
God created each of us and can use all of us—tattered wings or not. Have you ever persevered using God’s strength when you felt tattered?