About a week ago, I started writing a post about the monarch butterflies but did not finish it. I do not recall what interrupted me – if it got too late or something else needed to be done.
I felt sure that I would go back to the article and complete it because this is migration season for my little friends. Each year I am entranced by the mystery of their great flight. It is a part of creation that I consider one of the proofs of the existence of God because it is such an “unnecessary beauty”.
With all of the atoms crashing into each other in the primordial soup, resulting in more and more complex creatures who adapt until the fittest survive, there is absolutely no reason, no excuse for something so beautiful and extraordinary to happen.
This time of flight is also an important time for my soul because the journey of the monarch is, for me, a reminder of our great journey toward God. We are inexorably drawn on a journey to a destiny we cannot conceivably know of our own accord. How can we possibly find our way?
And yet, the monarchs do. Every year.
Around the time I began writing the other post, I asked God if I could see a monarch that day and receive its image. I do not know why – it seems a rather silly prayer. I had not seen any in my yard for quite a while and I had worked so hard to create a habitat for them.
I kept one eye on the window. The weather was ideal – hot and sunny. Occasionally, camera and I wandered out into my yard expectantly. No flutter of orange wings.
Then suddenly I saw a quick dash of the majestic insect as it dipped over my neighbor’s fence, without even a pause at my blooming bushes.
Okay. God answered my prayer – sort of. But I couldn’t help feeling He had been rather stingy about it.
I got busy and distracted with a variety of other projects over the next few days and kept telling myself that I was going to finish my post. And I would write a little here and there. But something seemed stuck. Why was I not writing what I wanted to write?
Sunday night came and a friend told me some news that changed everything. (I did not know this news because I do not watch television.)
Now I must tell you that I am not a morning person. I wouldn’t mind being a morning person but I’ve become a night person and it is very hard to be both.
But that morning, Monday morning, I got up earlier than usual and drove to a lakefront park before going to work. Camera was by my side, ready to receive images like we never had before. And receive them we did.
Although I am still processing this extraordinary experience, already I know I have learned something very important. Previously, I had believed in the idea of it. I had even tasted it before. But now, now I know it.
And that is, when we pray, God listens and He always answers. And He often gives us immeasurably more than what we ask for. It may not come in the form we request or arrive at the exact moment we hope for – but He answers.
He listens to even the smallest of His children’s needs. And gives with an outpouring of His heart that should leave us never in doubt of His great and powerful love.
For what my friend had told me was that thousands of migrating monarch butterflies had been passing our area and were roosting at the lakefront, waiting for a storm to pass. They would likely be there until the morning air warmed enough for them to resume their flight.
And indeed, many were still there when camera and I arrived Monday morning.
Below is a little video I put together of our experience, along with a poem that was given to me in a previous September as I contemplated the great flight. (I will post individual photos at oholyearth.com so that you may download them if you wish.)
Be blessed, as I have been blessed, dear friends in Christ. Our God is so very good.
postscript: I wrote this post late last night, with the intention of proofreading and posting today. This morning, while on the phone, I was gazing out my window and saw one of the biggest and most beautiful monarchs ever in my garden. My first impulse was to drop the phone and rush out with my camera – but, of course, I knew I didn’t need to. I have many images. So I just feasted on its beauty, as it glided from flower to flower and even came near the window, as though to greet me before moving on…
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Thank you for this. Thank God for butterflies, cameras, and generous persons who share!
Thanks, Al. Every day there is so much to be thankful for…