Letting Go of the Butterfly
Letting Go of the Butterfly
Saturday mornings, Jacob and I get early to take a walk together before his siblings wake up. This weekend was no different, except we took our neighborhood stroll out into the gentle falling rain. He came running into my room ready to go. His blue rain jacket was two sizes too small, but he didn’t care, and neither did I. Saturday mornings are special for Jacob and me.
The rain had finally slowed to a soft sprinkle, and so we headed out. He ran quickly ahead of me a few yards, then stopped suddenly, and said “Mommy, look! A butterfly!”
I walked toward him. The rain was gently falling making the hood of his jacket damp. I looked down to see where his small finger was pointing. It was a beautiful black and yellow butterfly. Its wet wings were stuck to the sidewalk and it was helplessly trying to fly away. Jacob knelt down to the ground, gently picked it up and said, “Mom, this butterfly needs my help. I’m going to carry it.”
The butterfly quickly took a liking to Jacob’s dry hands gently cradled around it. He was careful not to crush his new friend. As we walked, the rain sprinkled down on us, and Jacob created a sort-of umbrella out of one of his hands to protect the butterfly.
We were nearly back to the house when Jacob noticed the butterfly began to flap its wings. Then all at once, the butterfly took off confidently from Jacob’s little hands. We watched it for a moment as it flew into the sky until it was gone from sight.
I looked at Jacob, and I could see little tears were beginning to well up. “What’s wrong, buddy?” I asked him.
“I lost my friend. He flew off!” Jacob’s tears began to roll down his cheeks.
I knelt down to eye level and looked at him and said “No, buddy, you actually saved him. Remember, he was stuck to the sidewalk. Because you picked him up it gave him time for his wings to dry so he could fly again. You saved him.”
So often when we walk through life we want to have a tight grip on things. We want to control or have control over what is placed into our hands, whether it be our finances, our home, or people we love.
Similar to Jacob’s butterfly, we have to walk with an open hand. So much of our everyday life is completely out of our control. A few years ago, my mentor had a saying he would tell me just about every time we met. He would say: “Kelly, the only person you can control is yourself.”
Living life with an open hand on things isn’t easy. Sometimes, we can create a false-sense of security if we can just tightly hold onto it.
Jacob wanted his butterfly to stay with him. He was making plans about how it could live inside our fenced in backyard and he would get to see it everyday. But that’s not what happened.
Lord, help us to keep an open hand and trust You to take care of the next steps. Prompt us when it is time to let go.
If Jacob had squeezed the fragile butterfly, attempting to keep it from flying away, he would’ve killed it. Instead Jacob held the butterfly with an open palm, and he was able to foster a kind of friendship, and take notice the beauty of its black and yellow wings. He was able to enjoy watching the butterfly crawl around his hand and eventually be strong enough to fly again.
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