MIRACLE OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY
BY: LOUIS CHARLES
Let me tell you a story that I now understand has been used to help personally push me forward in my pursuit of truth. As I think back, I must have been about six years old one warm summer day out in the country. Underneath the tall elm trees, a boy could find lots of new things to explore at my childhood home. I still remember goldfinches and a blackbird or two, noisily gathering in the branches high above me, while I ate my orange Popsicle. Surrounded by lilac bushes, pines and rock gardens, my eyes longed to take in more of nature’s beauty, while I enjoyed my cool treat. I loved nature and the outdoors.
Having finished eating, I just happened to look upward to see a beautiful Monarch butterfly floating slightly above me. Now, I had seen butterflies before, but something was strangely different with this one. Dancing on air, as if on a string, this graceful insect happily toyed with me. As I waved my Popsicle stick in the air like a swordsman, the butterfly swooped back and forth at me, enjoying every “swoosh” of our little game! As this went on for a while, I could hardly believe how much fun it was to have this butterfly play with me and to see him dodge every swing of the stick.
Just then, in the middle of our fun, the wooden stick ripped through the butterfly’s fragile wing. To my horror, he plummeted to the ground, being reduced to lying helpless at my feet. I easily could see one of his wings had been torn in two and I knew the days of flight were over. As tears flowed in my moment of heartbreak and desperation, I scooped up the little insect and gently placed him in my red, plastic fireman’s helmet, from our garage. With tear-streamed cheeks I showed my mom the helmet and its contents. “What can I do?,” I sobbed. “Take the butterfly into our garden and ask God for His help,” she replied. My family hardly ever went to church, but my parents still believed in God.
Our garden was a good walk behind our house and all sorts of weeds had taken over this season. While I struggled to push my way into the garden through the tall weeds, I decided not to go in very deep. In a strange way, the weeds surrounded me and the butterfly, like walls of a sanctuary. Kneeling down with the injured creature still in the fireman’s helmet in front of me, I cried out to God. To this day, I don’t recall what I said; maybe, it wasn’t even what I said. I just remember the child-like faith of a little boy who believed with his whole heart and could not doubt what his mother had told him. My swollen, soaked eyes slowly gazed upward to see it happen. That Monarch butterfly slowly and deliberately walked up onto the brim of the helmet, stretched forth his perfect wings and looked at me for maybe thirty seconds. Then, in a moment of triumph, he took flight, never to be seen by me, again.
Perhaps the release I felt inside of having not destroyed the beautiful butterfly meant the most to me that day. But now, while my thoughts retrace the events of thirty-some years past, I wonder where that little boy went – a child who did not doubt, but knew God and His ability to make a fallen thing right. Like the butterfly, that little boy disappeared. Maybe I can still find him, once again.
MIRACLE OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY [Louis Charles] 1