It never ceases to amaze me the little details that God included in the world, just to bring a smile to my face.
The past few days, I have been following the progress of six black swallowtail caterpillars. Jim noticed them on one of our fennel plants Saturday morning and, for a couple of days, I brought them in and put them in our old fish aquarium. Yesterday, I put them back outside, afraid that I might not be able to provide for them all that they need.
They are about two inches long, green and black with yellow dots. When provoked, they produce an osmeterium, an orange “forked gland”, that resembles a snake tongue and emits a foul odor to ward off potential harm.
Soon, they will pupate, form a cocoon and begin their transformation. What will come forth from their chrysalis will be a black butterfly with bright yellow, blue and orange coloration. They will be amazing.
I love butterflies. No matter what I am doing outside, when one floats by, I stop to look. “Flutterbys” as Derek called them when he was little, have always held a special fascination for me. I can tell the difference between a Monarch and a Viceroy, name a couple of dozen different species as they fly by. The ones I don’t know I am quick to look up in my reference book. Butterflies bring me immense joy with their brilliant colors and graceful flight.
Why do you think God created butterflies? I mean, I know they are pollinators and therefore, serve a vital service to our plants. But so do bees. Do you ever wonder why He did? Why take the time to creates something so delicate and special?
When I see a beautiful butterfly, it not only makes me happy…it reminds me that God loves me. It tells me that God loved me so much that He created beautiful creatures to remind me of His love…to draw me closer to Him. It tells me that I matter so much to Him.
Everyone is different and so God speaks to them in different ways. Jim loves to be in the woods. To wake before dawn, walk through the trees with only the stars and moon as light. He loves to listen as the woods “wakes up.” The call of the owls to each other as they return from a night of hunting. The rustling of the leaves as the squirrels awake and chase each other up and down the trees. The snort of a doe as she senses Jim’s presence and her crisp steps as she leads her fawn away. This is all done in silence and Jim tells me it is here that he can hear God’s voice as loud as a spoken word.
The details that God included in creation.
It’s like when I spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal that will take minutes to consume. I do it because I love my family and want to show them that love. Or when I make the bed each day because I know how much Jim appreciates it.
For me, the fact that Jim rubs my neck nightly, knowing that it helps relieve the pain. Or washes my hair just because it feels good to me. Or lets me put my cold feet on his at night to warm them.
Little things, done in love…to make others feel special, important, and cherished. We all need that. We need to know that we are appreciated for who we are, that someone cares for us.
I look around everyday and see how much God loves me, by the people he puts in my life, by the smiles or hugs I receive, by the beauty of nature that He took so much time to create. But in order to see all that He has done for me, I have to be quiet. I have to look and listen to His whispers of love. If I’m too busy with “life”, the whispers flow by like a leaf in stream.
What is it that reminds you of God’s love for you? What do you do to show His love to others? It doesn’t have to be a big production. A smile to a stressed out grocery clerk, holding the door for someone whose hands are full, a hug to a neighbor who is having a bad day. God’s love isn’t ours to hold…it’s ours to pass on to others.
Take time today to be quiet and listen for God…it may surprise you where you find Him.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is a friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to touch souls. ~~ Mother Teresa