Thursday, December 27, 2012


People always talk about the beautiful transformation of the caterpillar into the butterfly. It is phenomenal, it is natural, and it is a sight to behold. When the caterpillar emerges and takes flight it is a beautiful thing and most times the focus of our long loved proverbial sayings. What people often skip is the process of transformation. No matter how natural it is, to completely change and transform from the inside out, to sprout wings from a substance unseen; it cannot be done entirely without great courage and yes, pain. 

It is not easy to leave your comfort zone and shift the inner makings of who you thought you were to become; while at the same time realizing that your cocoon is shrinking and forcing you to transform into what you were meant to convert into all along. There is a moment of suspension between two worlds, a fine delicate crosshair in life. In the end change of some sort is inevitable, perhaps it is allowing ourselves to let change take place without fighting it. Perhaps some butterflies emerge unscathed, complete and whole. Yet there are those who struggle and emerge with scarred and tattered wings. Those blemishes and scars carry with them the outward confession of their love of two worlds…to gain one you must leave the other behind.

And so it goes, we make these plans for the course of our life as this caterpillar and sometimes out of nowhere, life gives us a cocoon. We discover our plans are not what were intended at all and we are merged into change.  I guess in the end we can always take comfort that even if we are one of those tattered butterflies, our Creator has a plan for us. He saw growth in us in ways that we did not think were possible while we were crawling around on the ground…so he chose to expand our horizon and give us wings. 

In the midst of transformation it can be very scary and painful.  It can be difficult to refrain from striking out and hurting others, as we fight to understand the path before us.  Mankind seems to have this innate desire to know where they are going, what they are doing and who they are becoming.  Personally for me, during certain transformations of my life, the conversions were resisted immensely and I did not leave unscathed.  Yet God was working in my life, in ways that I could not see from inside this cocoon.  Outwardly I was still hurting and mourning and angry with the world around me consumed in my own bitterness because life had not given me the natural opportunities I felt I deserved.  Though there was not a pivotal moment that changed my life around, somewhere in the darkness I found peace, and I allowed it to consume me.  This process took almost a decade, but I could feel the walls around me shifting and cracking.  The light and warmth of the sun began to peek in and I felt the urge to expand.  

How can a caterpillar do that?  In some ways I still felt I was bound, but I had this urge to magnify beyond the capacity of what I still perceived as self, and in that moment I realized I had grown wings.  The walls around me broke and I emerged clumsily but hopefully.  With my new found wings, I fluttered and as I ascended, I began to appreciate this old world through these new eyes.  Though at times I can still see and feel the scars of my transformation, the exchange of knowledge, understanding and love that I gained is a gift I thank my Creator for every day.

It is in my own inner conversion that I still hold hope for others.  From my own experience, I know that the action of a person does not always imply that there are no changes taking place.  We do not have the ability to see what God is doing in their inner most beings.  Change takes time.  Through the midst of our struggles and pain, the truth of life’s beauty can be fogged and that pain often is transposed unintentionally unto others.  We are to love these wounded souls anyway, offering compassion and encouragement even in the face of adversity; we strive to build them up and help them on their path.  This is spiritual love.  It holds no condemnation, or anger.  It accepts even the ugliest of creation understanding that not everyone was born with beautiful wings; some people are still a work in progress, still changing, still evolving, still growing and on the verge of developing into something more beautiful than words can ever express or convey,even if they emerge a little tattered. Who are we to deny them wings?

April M. RedWing

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