The opening prayer or collect last week Friday was stunning:
Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
God is the Generous Giver, the One who gives more than we can ask or imagine. The days when we dare not ask, God has already prepared and is ready to gift. We often do not deserve the kindness–we cannot merit the generosity on our own. God grants our desires out of a pure and unconditional love.
This weekend I was out in lake country, sitting alone on a boat as my friends had gone kayaking. I was tinkering with my new camera, wondering how everything worked when suddenly a butterfly–a monarch, I believe–flitted within feet of me. I readied my camera and away it flew. I sighed, watching it dance for a minute before it dashed out of sight. I smiled to myself even though I had not gotten the shot I had hoped for. Suddenly it reappeared and lighted on my shoulder. Slowly turning my head, I watched it for a minute and then raised my camera and took a selfie. I had no idea if the photograph would turn out. Off the creature went and I was left wondering how often that happens.
I tend to look for deep meaning in things and had been curious if there was a message for me. Today I might have gotten my answer. I had been thinking about a friend of mine who I had not seen in almost a year, perhaps longer. I kept thinking I should catch her up on my life and she had been on my heart so I was curious how she was doing too. I pulled into a church parking lot that has 24-hour Adoration and drove by a vehicle. The woman in the SUV sure looked like my friend but I could not be sure. I stepped out of the car and rummaged through my purse for the swipe card to enter the chapel. This was my first time going and I was a little uncertain about which door to use. As I pulled out the wee map that accompanies the card, I heard her greet me by name. I was so excited.
We had this amazing conversation and at one point, as I began to tire physically, I thought, I am in Adoration now, Jesus. I see your face here. I let go of any expectations and just listened to the voice of God at work. Her story, though different than mine, had good lessons for me. When she got to the part of the story about butterflies, I was all ears. Butterflies are a symbol of transformation and of new life. The old is gone and the new is beautiful. What seems like death is really change–a complete overhaul of what was into something more spectacular. I think God is at work within both of us, pardoning our transgressions and giving us what we dare not even ask for. We have so much healing for which to give praise.
I return to that butterfly of mine who found a safe landing space for a few minutes, just resting and being a source of joy and beauty. I am unsure what the past months have been for me however I do recognize that I have had a safe place to land in the hands of God. I still need to process it all but tonight I wonder if I have been wrapped in a cocoon in the cloak of Christ and have emerged as something utterly amazing. So many people believe a miracle happened to me through their prayers. I would agree that miracles abounded along the way. I cannot wait to see what God does with all of this. |For the greater glory of God!
Recall a time when you landed safely in God’s good hands. What was it that allowed you to rest there?
Has God ever arranged an encounter that answered a question that you had been mulling over?
Your abundance flows mightily
like a waterfall down a mountainside
and yet as gentle as a
butterfly alighting on a shoulder.
You are our safe landing;
there is none other like You.
Help me to recognize the mini-miracles that
surround me daily, whispering for attention.
Fill my heart with gratitude and joy
at each glimpse of the Divine.
Give us what we dare not ask for
in your mercy and love.