The grass was tall and prickly where my daughters and I ventured out into the field.
Even though the pointy weeds scratched at our ankles, we pressed on.
You see we were on what has become a yearly ritual for us: A hunt for something really special. It’s something that always reminds me of the creative hand of God.
The milkweed grew tall and promising as we approached. Its leaves, the preferred food of the monarch caterpillar, were large this time of year. They were the makings of a great meal for the black, green and yellow striped caterpillars that we sought.
My nine-year-old found the grand prize that day – a leaf with two caterpillars on it – two for one! Turning over more leaves, we discovered more and carefully used our school scissors to clip each leaf and gently lay them in our vented bug carrier.
After wading back through the weeds to our van, we were content with our find. After all, we were four caterpillars richer!
In just one short week, the largest of our caterpillars, affectionately named “Sandy” by my four-year-old, had her fill of her daily supply of green milkweed leaves and started crawling to the top of the carrier. “She’s doing it mom,” my older daughter observed as Sandy started to look for a good place to “hang.” And sure enough, that evening Sandy hung head down from her roof in a perfect “J” shape.
Hours later I peeked at her, mesmerized by a transformation I never tire of seeing. No longer was Sandy a caterpillar. Her long worm-like body was gone, and in its place hung the prettiest chrysalis I’ve ever seen. It was lime green and ornamented with a series of golden dots that seemed to “seal” up the treasure inside. When my kids ask me where the shiny gold dots come from, I can only think of the paintbrush of God.
In a few weeks, Sandy’s body will go through another big change. We’ll look into her carrier to find a beautiful and perfect monarch butterfly staring back at us. She’ll be ready to be released then. And we’ll get to see that too. What a beautiful show of nature.
I shake my head at the whole concept of metamorphosis. Scientists may be able to explain it away, but I can’t.
It’s too much for me to wrap my head around. And anyway, I know who gets all the credit.
Perhaps though, metamorphosis has an even greater purpose. Maybe it’s a “visual” of God’s ability to make something beautiful out of us too. After all, how much more important are we to him than a caterpillar?
Kate* and I became friends out of difficult circumstances. We were students in the same university, and we had each just gone through a painful break up. Blond and beautiful Kate was a drama major and a bit on the wild side. And it was kind of odd that the two of us should become friends. But during that season, I got to see God work an incredible transformation in her. She grew from a crazy, flirty girl into a prayerful woman of God. Kate’s secret? She was willing to let God change her.When I last saw her, she was prepared and ready to become the wife and mother that God was calling her to be.
Now, I’m sure that Kate would tell you that her transformation wasn’t easy, but would she say it was worth it? Oh yeah.
Metamorphosis gives us hope doesn’t it? After all, if God can change a worm into a majestic butterfly, just imagine what he can do with you and me.
Romans 12:2 -New Living Translation
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
2 Corinthians 5:17 English Standard Version
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 3:18 English Standard Version
And we all, with unveiled face,beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.