A dance of butterlies

The other day I took a walk near our place across the dam and towards the corn field. The good rains meant the path was overgrown with fresh grass. Suddenly a host of small yellow butterflies appeared from nowhere circling and diving rejoicing in each other’s company but never crashing into one another. I stopped and watched for a while in awe. Nature has its way of rejoicing.

It is Good Friday. It is Easter Sunday. We first see the man of sorrows move unsteadily along the way to Golgotha. We try to share his sorrow but we also hear his words, “weep not for me!” We are to weep for ourselves for it is our great sorrow that we cannot be what we are made to be. Made in the image of God we experience ourselves as far from it. Our sorrow is often for our disappointments and hurts. We look only at how I have been misunderstood, bypassed, insulted and wounded.

On this day our sorrow is to go beyond such hurts, real though they may be. My sorrow is to rest, not on me but on the one who paid the price of my failure to live up to the divine calling. Created in the divine image I am aware how little I reflect that image. The fourteenth century author of The Cloud wrote,

“Everyone has plenty of cause for sorrow but they alone understand the deep universal reason for sorrow who experience that they are. Every other motive pales beside this one. They alone feel authentic sorrow who realise not only what they are but that they are. Anyone who has not felt this should really weep, for they have never experienced real sorrow.”

Perhaps we wonder why the saints are so aware of their wretchedness while the rests of us think we are OK? Well, it may be that the closer we approach the light the more aware we are of the dross we carry.

Easter is that moment in our lives when we see that there is a horizon beyond us and we are on the way there. Easter draws us and gladdens our heart. We know that our frail dance – the best we can do now – will be transformed beyond our imaginings. Our limitations will fall away as the chains fall from a freed convict. We receive intimations of that day in the kindness of a friend and the smile of a stranger. And we see it in the exuberance of small yellow butterflies, dancing in the breeze.

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Post published in: Faith