From Candle in our midst.
I was out for a walk last week and came across this beautiful butterfly resting on some pink flowers beside the footpath. It was the first one of these I have seen this year. It is a 'Painted Lady', and amazingly, it is not native to our shores, but migrates each year from as far away as North Africa and the Middle East. When conditions are just right it might attempt to breed here, but normally it will not - it is a summer visitor.
There is something incredibly fragile about butterflies. It is quite incredible that something so small (about 5cm) can literally 'weather' the journey not just from one country to another, but intercontinentally.
Contemplating this presence, beauty, and truth, I found myself reflecting on how we hear The Word - i.e. the truth of God, through Jesus, in our lives. It comes in so many ways, so many forms. For me, that day, I heard it through this simple butterfly. It was right there in front of me, a profound truth that even without knowing much about it would bring a smile to anyone's face. And yet it also speaks of a mystery that seems impossible, thousands of miles travelled and no real way of knowing where an individual butterfly has come from or returns to. There is no sound as it flies, nothing really to herald its presence except maybe the glimpse of a flutter of colour that catches your attention, but then, once focused in you witness the glory in front of you.
I think this is often how we can know The Word, the truth of God, in our midst every day. Not necessarily through the big things, the loud statements, the order and process of religion, or whatever it might be. But in the small things, the glimpses, the fleeting moments that seem to make time stand still and whatever was in your mind immediately prior to recede to a distant memory. And when the moment passes, as it will, when we allow that to dwell in us (and us therefore in it), we experience the return to our time in a new way, however small that is.