Adria Wilkins offer a unique perspective on the unexpected, and often undesired, fragile moments in our lives.
White Butterfly in January
By Adria Wilkins
Glancing out my office window one winter day in January something caught my eye.
"What is that?" I thought, "Oh, it probably is just a random leaf blowing in the wind." I quickly moved to the window for a closer look. I couldn't believe it. January in Virginia is usually freezing. Snow can stay on the ground all month. But that day was a warm spring-like day of 60 degrees.
A closer look revealed this was no random leaf. Instead, a soft white butterfly flitted freely across the winter blue sky. She must have come out thinking spring was here and it was time to continue her journey. However, the next day was a typical Virginia January day - cold. Hopefully the butterfly found a safe, warm place to shelter. The unexpected and early sighting of a butterfly brought delight to my day.
The early butterfly, so frail-looking, also reminded me of a premature birth. When children are born prematurely, their sudden arrival can be unexpected, and yet can bring delight to everyone who sees them.
Some babies have to rest and "hibernate" in the neonatal intensive care unit before emerging again. They must spend many months in the hospital to grow and thrive.
Other times, some children are too frail to survive very long, or they have medical problems that become part of their lives.
Every child is different. It is a miracle how each intricate detail of their bodies is formed in the mother's womb. The muscles, tendons, organs, and nerves all have to line up just right for everything to work as it should.
There are times when a baby is like this white butterfly: born unexpectedly to grace and delight us with its beauty for a brief season. But God has a plan for each little butterfly born into our lives.
Honestly, I never knew why children with medical concerns were called "special" until I had one of my own. These babies are unique treasures.
They are worth more than any material possession. They require safety, care, and a watchful eye. The extra care these children require is part of the exhaustion parents face, but it is also part of the memory they learn to embrace.
When I see a delicate butterfly, I think of my son and how he was here for a short time and then gone. I had to learn to embrace each moment and cherish it. The wonderful moments were fleeting, like the white butterfly.
Perhaps for you, the experience of fleeting joy and beauty takes a different form. Your "white butterfly" may be a relationship that brought joy but changed when your friend moved. Perhaps a job that was perfect for a season of your life, and then that season ended. Whatever the source of the fleeting moments of beauty in your life, embrace that joy for that season.
Imagine what God must have been thinking when he created fragile treasures that are only with us a short time - each leaf, butterfly, relationship, experience, and child. Take time each day to reflect and look for delightful, unexpected encounters. Dwell for a few moments in His presence and you will get a glimpse of what beauty looks like in the eyes of God our Creator.
Adria Wilkins is the author of The Joy Box Journal. She and her husband, Erik, live in Northern Virginia. After suffering the unthinkable, the death of three-year-old Blake, she found that Jesus sustains, and evens surprises his followers with joy. Connect with Adria at www.joyboxstories.com.