I moved manses in the summer and one of the most amazing sights that greeted me when I got to the new manse was the amount of butterflies I had in my garden. There were so many that they were even landing on me when I went out with the washing and they seemed to love the warmth of the wood and paths in the garden, settling down on them to enjoy the sun. The garden, in which I had no say, was very butterfly friendly, almost a wildflower meadow with lots of buddleias.
I am fascinated by butterflies; they are so intricate and beautiful and delicate. I had a bookmark that said, “Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over – it became a butterfly.” How can something so earthbound as a caterpillar become so beautiful and free? A butterfly has the capacity to make me smile and give thanks for creation and the intricacies of life. I love art and craft but nothing I make is as beautiful or detailed as a butterfly!
I wonder, what do you see in daily life that lifts you up and makes you happy? What makes you stop and give thanks or just marvel? I have to confess that it is not only butterflies but lots of things do it for me. A smile of a baby, a dog that is pleased to see its owner come out of the shop and knows they have not been abandoned, the black cat that sits right under the bird table and wonders why no birds come! Most days I see things that make me smile, things that lift my heart and make me glad to just be here.
When Jesus told his parables he spoke of ordinary things made extraordinary because somehow something of God was revealed through them. Tuning in to find God’s fingerprint on all creation is a wonderful way of seeing the world and hearing God speak to us today. On the sea shore we have some stones washed smooth and perfectly round by the sea. I cannot resist picking them up and seeing how lovely they are glinting in the sun. But if I bring one home to enjoy the colours and depth, I find that once it has dried out it becomes quite a boring stone; it needs the constant wetting and washing to keep it vibrant – and maybe that is a parable in itself, that if the living water of Christ fails to wash over us we become dulled and lifeless, we stop reflecting his colours and light. That’s what I mean by looking for the fingerprint of God in all creation, for we meet God in expected and unexpected places, and he reveals himself to us through the world he made. And when he does, even if it is as fleeting as a butterfly passing by, the day is made better for we have encountered the living God.
Holy God, in all things – yet hidden to those who do not want to see, do not want to hear or do not want to meet with you, open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds to meeting you in the here and now, in the expected and unexpected and may we honour and praise your name in all things and at all times acknowledging you to be the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Prayer for the Week written by Denise Creed
Photo by Janet Creed
You can download this week’s prayer as a .pdf here