Monday, October 25, 2010

Gratitude 10: The Nearness of God

Saturday afternoon, Husband calls from the backyard, "Sweetie, get the camera!"

At the door, ready to hand it out to him, I see him crouched by the lantana and blue mistflower, cupping something carefully in his hands.  Slowly he approaches me, and I see it is a large monarch butterfly.

My excitement over the photo op quickly morphed into sadness.  The lower edge of one wing was damaged, as if it had been gnawed.

She said, "Oh, no!  What can we do?  He's going to die like that, unable to get to the plants or evade the birds or go to Mexico with his friends!  This is awful!"

He said, "I think he's old and very weak.  The wing doesn't look too damaged for him to fly, so maybe he just needs food to recover his strength.  I'll put him in the flowers so he can eat, and maybe he'll be all right."

That he did.  So very gently, he set the butterfly in the blue mist, where like an infant suckling it immediately found the nectar.  The dog was outside as well by this time, so I stayed and watched as the wounded insect crept around the flowers and ate.  He did look happier, at least, if not stronger.

Storms soon broke here, and waves of rain and thunder and tornado warnings passed through.  I have not seen the butterfly today, but he's still in my thoughts.

As I asked the Lord what to make of this curious encounter, I remembered this:
"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
         And saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

And this:
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
       he drew me out of deep waters.
  He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
       from my foes, who were too strong for me.
 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
       but the LORD was my support.
  He brought me out into a spacious place;
       he rescued me because he delighted in me (Psalm 18:16-19).

And this:
 "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11).

Today, then, I give thanks for the nearness of God to those with broken wings,
for His grace to rescue and restore us,
for a husband who shows me God's gentleness,
for butterflies and sunrises,
for rain and protection in the storms,
and for a day when the groaning of Creation will be satisfied in freedom and redemption.
(Gratitude list 1501-1506)

May you know His nearness in your need and call today.

holy experience


  1. Priceless pearls of wisdom..thank you for writing today.

  2. Beautiful post. And a lovely reminder how God's beauty is all around us just waiting for us to look and see, and know Him. I am sure He smiled as you cared for His butterfly. Blessings.

  3. Beautiful, such a tender post. I'm actually sort of speechless.

    "Today, then, I give thanks for the nearness of God to those with broken wings"

    I love that...just love it. Thank you.


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