What’s with all the Butterflies?
Curious children playing in the summer sun often stop in their tracks to peek at a cocoon that houses a caterpillar transforming into something new. We stand in wonder of these tiny creatures that spin silky blankets around themselves, close out the world, and then emerge as something completely different from the bodies that went into hiding.
Too often, though, we see “cocoon behavior” that is not so filled with wonder. Parents struggling with alcohol addictions close their doors, hoping no one will see what’s happening within their hearts. Mothers in abusive relationships wall themselves off from concerned family and friends, afraid to leave what they think is the safety of what has become a cell. Children facing abuse and addiction and self-destructive behavior pull the blankets up over their eyes, frightened of a world beyond their familiar rooms. These are the everyday lives of so many who are trapped in a cocoon, afraid to come out of hiding.
And so it has been with the girls and the families who come to Agape House. They find themselves in cocoons of addiction or abuse or confusion or fear. But through their work at Agape House, they are able to reach deep into their hearts and find the courage and the strength to give up their old lives and their old habits, and emerge as beautiful children transformed by God. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, s/he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Letting the old pass away can be one of the most frightening decisions we make. And yet, we have the reassurance that with Christ, in Christ, we can be new creations, free from destructive behaviors, free from the voice in our head that pushes us into dark places, free from crawling through lives lived in darkness. Leaving cocoons can be scary, but letting ourselves be transformed by Christ’s love and acceptance and grace will let us soar to places cocooned hearts can’t imagine.
May the beautiful butterflies of summer be an inspiration to those praying for the courage to make a change; may they offer a fluttered whisper that letting go of an old self can mean new life; above all, may they be a vibrant reminder of God’s transforming love that can take us from being bound to being free.