This afternoon I was outside on a beautiful spring day here in north Texas working in my yard. This is my favorite time of year when the weather is mild, the sun is out and there is a light wind. In my head this is what heaven will be like, 75 degrees, blue skies, cumulus clouds and a light breeze. I know that is pretty specific, maybe God will grant this belief. As I was adding soil to my flowerbeds in preparation for planting flowers, I noticed a butterfly walking along the street next to the curb. I waited for a few moments to see if it would take off at the sight of me coming closer, but it didn’t.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that it seemed to be struggling to fly and had a broken wing on the front left side. I was fascinated because I love butterflies for so many reasons beginning with the whole transformation journey. The idea that a completely different creature develops under pressure into a beautiful insect that soars is just amazing to me. I love looking at them. They have come to symbolize my transformation under pressure in my own life and what God is doing when I trust Him to soar. But these were not the reasons I was fascinated with this little guy. It was something I did not know.
I picked it up and relocated it to a safer place. I watched as it walked and did it’s best to stabilize and try to fly. Wondering what would happen to this little guy, I did what any compassionate human being in my position would do. I googled if a butterfly with a broken wing can heal. I was surprised to learn that they could not regenerate a new wing. Unlike a broken bone, a wing cannot heal. But what I learned fascinated me even more.
In the wild, the insects often run into obstacles and cause their own wing rips and tears. “Wing breakage is very common in natural circumstances,” Eisner says. “I’ve found butterflies that have literally one wing completely gone, and they can fly.”
A butterfly with one wing or a broken wing can still fly. Now that is some grit. I guess everything in nature is adaptable. How many of us are “flying” around with broken wings of our own? I sure know I have had my share of broken wings in my life. I know so many people right now who are functioning with some level of brokenness in their lives. But that does not keep them from functioning. For some of us it is relational issues, past traumas, financial issues, career challenges, or health opportunities, but we all have them. As a counselor, I see it everyday- people trying their best to heal from the past and current hurts as best they can. But they still have to get up, work, take care of themselves and their families.
Beyond the Brokenness
Sometimes I wonder if that is the point, to live beyond the brokenness. We think that life’s supposed to be smooth, abundant and full of joy. But maybe the point is to experience all those things with the brokenness because that is meant to be part of the journey of life. I am currently taking Concept Therapy courses where it teaches the nature laws of the universe and how they apply to life. One is the law of polarity. It states that the north pole needs the south, up needs down, good needs evil, love needs hate. Without this, there would not be balance in the world. We live in a world of order and everything has a very direct and intentional purpose for balance. Nothing is random. This gives a whole new perspective on brokenness and the need for it in the world and our lives. I have my fair share of brokenness like the rest of you and that beautiful little butterfly. Just maybe if we can see it as part of the journey, as needed for our balance-we too can soar with our broken wing.
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