The Butterfly and the Wasp
One Sunday afternoon after working in the yard, I attempted to enjoy some quiet
time by the pool and soak up some sun. All I wanted was 30 minutes of peace and rest on The Day of Rest. But, I found peace impossible since buzzing around me was a sinister looking wasp. I was watching as it would sneak into the hollow openings under the edging of the black fence less than two feet from my chair. I couldn't focus on the rays of sun reflecting off the clear blue water or the sound of the birds chirping in the trees behind me. All I could see was a wicked winged intruder that I knew was out to get me!
I have always had a fear of anything with wings that stings! Earlier this summer, while seated in the exact same lawn chair, I rolled over and discovered a yellow jacket setting right where I was setting. He didn't want to share the chair with me or my bottom. Maybe because my bottom had just rolled over on top of him. OUCH! That one left a mark for over a week.
Then, just last week, I sat in my favorite chair, once again, and found I was sharing it with another inconsiderate insect, A WASP, that stung me on the shoulder. UGH! (I need to pick a different favorite chair)
Now, on this particular day I was staring a hole through this wasp at the fence and flinching every time it got near me. I was alert and I was ready to attack before being attacked. Then just like that, I felt a winged intruder enter the NO FLY ZONE right past my ear. I began throwing karate chops that would make Jackie Chan look like an amateur. That winged beast didn't have a chance with my cat like reflexes! Was I scared? Yes! Did I stop to think twice before swinging and kicking and chopping at the air? Of course not! Did the wasp sting me? NO! Why not?.......Because, it wasn't a wasp. It was a beautiful butterfly. A butterfly who was just out fluttering around minding her own business and I knocked her to the ground! Poor, poor little butterfly.
That night, I lay in bed and the image of that colorful creature entered into my mind. I started to think about how this situation spoke to my heart.
God opened my eyes to see not the bugs in my backyard but the illustration of an innocent person getting caught up in someone else's situation by no fault of their own. The age old, "Why does bad things happened to good people?" question. Or being confused as to, "Why is that person being so rude to me? I haven't don't anything to them. I feel like they are always out to get me."
Sometimes my friends, we are just innocent butterflies who flew too close to someone who couldn't see that we were just butterflies. Mainly because they had felt life sting them so many times that anyone who came near was going to get knocked from the sky. Was it that butterflies fault that a bee and a wasp had stung me? No...but my initial reaction was self defense anytime anything buzzed my way.
Fortunately, the butterfly was tougher than my sorry little chicken arm strength. I observed as she paused for a moment, shook her wings and fluttered away. Did I go after the butterfly? Did I want to crush it with my flip flop like I did a wasp? No....I felt bad and wanted to see it fly again. I only needed a moment to see what it was (just a butterfly) and trust that it couldn't and wouldn't harm me. This is what I think God was showing me through my insect interactions. It was a reminder that there will be times that others come at me, may try to hurt me, and react to my attempt at friendship with an irrational fear and fight. I learned that I need to look deeper at the situation, not take it personally, and possibly see that it's the stings of life that they are fearing and fighting...they are swinging at the wasp. Then, give them time to see that I am only a butterfly.
Until then, I will shake off my wings and flutter on!
John 16:33 ESV
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”