After a leisurely morning, we gathered our children and belongings together and headed to the Butterfly Conservatory. The little nature lovers that they are, my children were delighted and enthusiastic with overtones of grumpiness. While waiting to enter the conservatory, my children spotted one of their favourite butterflies: the blue morpho. Not only does this species have shimmering blue wings, it was also featured on a Diego episode that my children have watched many times. Forgoing the informational video, they burst into butterfly area with great excitement. Immediately they were surrounded by butterflies.
At first my children were happy. After about five minutes though, my eldest started showing signs of agitation. She wanted a butterfly to land on her. Although she was surrounded by many beautiful butterflies and was able to observe them up close, it wasn't good enough. She wanted one on her head, hand, dress; it didn't matter as long as she could hold just one butterfly. I encouraged her to be patient, but just then one landed on her father. How unfair could the world get? A butterfly landed on her dad and wouldn't leave! It just wasn't fair! She was on the verge of a meltdown.
Gently I took her aside, wrapping her in a hug. Empathizing with her, I asked if we could pray together. She agreed. With a nervous heart, I prayed quietly with her, asking God to please send a butterfly to land on Aris. It's hard to pray such an important and yet trivial request when I have prayers that God seems to have ignored. I cling to my belief that God answers prayer, that He cares so deeply about us even in trivial matters, but I doubt this even as I cling. How would my very sensitive and emotionally struggling child cope if God didn't answer her prayer? I chose to pray, to trust, even as doubts ran through my head.
We walked along looking at the butterflies on the path, flowers, people, even on a turtle in the pond. My nature lover informed me that butterflies get salt from stones and turtles, sometimes even going so far as to lick the eyeballs of turtles. She said she read it in a book. Still, no butterflies. She was sad, but okay. As I turned from taking a picture, I noticed a butterfly on her shoulder. As soon as I pointed it out, it flew away. Just then, Steve noticed one on her dress. I was filled with relief. God had answered my prayer!
Butterfly after butterfly began to land on her. She stopped fretting, instead trying to get butterflies onto her hand. While she was kneeling down, a blue morpho landed on her back. Then another and another. Soon she had three large butterflies competing for space on her back. All the while, she was kneeling down. One by one the butterflies opened their wings. For a brief second, all three butterflies had their wings open at the same time.
Watching my little girl with her butterflies, I was overwhelmed with His abundance. She would have been happy with just one butterfly briefly. Instead God gave her about 15, including these three for several minutes. It took some patience and some faith on the part of her mama, but God provided abundantly. My faith is still tattered, with all these questions roaming about unanswered but in some unexplainable way those butterflies helped heal me just a bit more. If God could answer such a little prayer so well, perhaps He is in process of answering my bigger ones too. I just have to wait for those butterflies to start landing.
Joining with Emily and the rest