Some struggles that I had, something that I found out anew in myself, and an encouragement, a motivational word about ourselves, our walk, our path, our appearances which I got from looking at a butterfly.
Time was drawing near for my departure to Portugal to tend to some documents and a Visa interview, which I had to appear in Portugal. I had spoken with family and noticed another fear impulse in me, mainly of Jesus in the Monstrance being caught by my camera while speaking with my family... A stirring and a curbing to prevent Him from being seen by them. Honestly, it would not be only with my parents that this fear would come up with, but even with my brothers and siblings, because they didn’t know yet I’m a female priest. In my background, growing up in an Orthodox Church, there is no such thing as a woman being a priest.
I felt scared, insecure, and perhaps even mixed shame if the Monstrance were to be seen in that camera—even if it were a glimpse. All these sudden fears came and lasted for seconds, but feeling them, I came to realize I had this yet another weakness as it came up to the surface. When it comes to family, there is a temptation to hide and remain silent again like before, and not to tell them all that is going on with me mainly.
But soon I see that in the next few seconds, my thoughts switched and I was pondering:
“Would a wife be ashamed of her husband before her family? Would she try to cover his head and put him in the back so the family would not see him and thus possibly reproach her for her choice in life?” That shows a weak love and a certain fearing-attachment to people’s acceptance, of their rebukes. Fear of Men. Again.
“This is Jesus…the King of kings! This is the One who dies for all, how can I possibly be ashamed or try to hide Him from family, when this actually might be their healing and deliverance?”
Among my thoughts, I shared this with Mother Mary and received a Rhema:
“I follow the way traced for me by Jesus. He wants me to practice abandonment like a little child who does not worry about what others might do to him.”
However, later on the day, I caught sight of a butterfly that took away my thoughts to a different course of thoughts and pondering:
A moment ago I noticed a beautiful butterfly land on a flower, reminding me how yesterday in our group Lord’s Supper Reading the theme was “Metamorphosis”. On one precious day I saw it, and today, it was here again!
When it was a caterpillar dragging here on earth, some might have thrown gazes at it in disgust, looking at it, saying in their hearts, “Dragging from leaf to leaf—so slow. It does nothing but waste leaves away, plus, it has such a weird shape and so many legs—Ugh!”
But when its time comes and it undergoes the transformation process, concealed in its chrysalis specifically designed for it—the caterpillar was as if ‘dying’ hiddenly, but when it came out it emerged as a beautiful butterfly! Now people look at it as a sign of blessing, saying in their hearts, “Such beautiful wings it has. She is so blessed to be able to fly from flower to flower. Such unique colors and shape her wings have!”
So I pondered:
So it is likened to a soul on earth. Many souls look ‘weird’ and seemingly unwanted in the world as if they are a burden and a waste and dragging from place to place just leaving leftovers behind them. Many look down at them due to their physical appearance and some spit in their eyes with their disapproving gazes. Yet, when these souls pass through the process of metamorphosis, meaning: their death and reaching Heaven—their whole being becomes an eternal Butterfly, transformed by God’s creative power, love, and wisdom!
Sometimes the appearance of a person on earth is protection for their soul—that’s something the Lord tells us.
So, even as the soul passes through life on earth, its life path at times makes others look down on it... But if this life path is God-given and she walks on it until the end, they will see in the end the Butterfly she is! Then, people would look at themselves and feel a gentle yet strong sense of conviction, saying in their hearts, “She was a caterpillar dragging herself, but now look what she became! God surely takes a creation and changes it into something much more beautiful. Yet I saw it not and looked down on His creature.”
Then the second Rhema which I received moments ago, said:
“There are wonders stored up for you in Heaven.”
Once I read in a book how a pastor looked down on a beggar on the street, defining him as a waste of people. Yet, when that pastor was taken up to Heaven for a visit, he saw the beggar now being a king, with angels assigned to him. The beggar, whom he saw as a mere waste of a person, that beggar laid down his life to save a drunkard on a freezing night. The beggar was a fiery soul for God and froze himself to death to keep the drunkard from dying in a state of sin.
So, you see, the appearance looks one way, but the soul and heart you cannot really see it burning within. How can we even pass any judgment on any person as if saying in our hearts, “They look like this; they look like that; they did this, or they did that!”
As it says in 1 Samuel 16:7, “God sees the heart, He does not look at appearances.”
Then a third Rhema that I got was Psalm 72, titled, "The Prayer of the King."
How fitting these Rhemas! Before I even began to write down anything, they [the Rhemas] were already given to me—so fittingly to this message a few moments later.
So in the end, we can say a short prayer. We can say to God:
God, we might look like “weird” caterpillars on earth, but You created us the way You made us, with the life path and appearance we were given by You. I pray all find their peace of soul as they walk in this life path set before us by You.
Grant us the grace to accept ourselves as we were made, trusting You are making us into uniquely shaped Butterflies. Grant us a mind, a heart, and eyes to see others likewise. Set our eyes on Heaven, on the hearts of souls. May we let go of our fleshy childish patterns and adore You as You mature us from leaf to leaf along this life.
In Jesus’ name.