Miracle of the Monarch Butterfly          
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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 awhile, 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.

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