Parable of the Butterfly
By: Joyce E. Johnson
The butterfly struggled, working to free itself in the jar. A few holes in the lid allowed only a small amount of air to enter the glass chamber. But the heat and humidity was suffocating. It would not live much longer. Kept in a dark confining place since coming out of its cocoon, it would never know wide open spaces, or retreat to a flower under a bright sun.
It worked hard, pushing against the lid on the jar, but it became more difficult with each effort. One wing broke leaving the butterfly weak and disabled as it slid once more to the bottom of its chamber.
The captor held the jar up to his face peering intently at his prize, smiling. What a specimen I have caught.
There was little movement now from the defeated, dying butterfly.
Soon, someone came along, seeing the trapped butterfly in the jar and said to its captor. “I will give you any amount of money you want if you will let me buy your butterfly.”
The captor asked, “But, why? It’s almost dead. It’s part of my experiment.”
The prospective buyer replied, “It is mine. It is beautiful, special. Look at its color and markings. The orange on its wings are the color of sunset, and the black markings like peaks meeting the sun at dusk. There is no other like it in all of creation.”
The purchase was made, and the captor walked away clutching his wad of money.
The rescuer was happy too, buying back what He had created. Opening the jar he allowed a gush of sweet, fragrant air and warm sunlight into its chamber.
A gentle touch from his finger nudged life and energy back into the broken, disabled body of the butterfly. It soon made its way back up the mouth of the jar, feeling it’s way around, looking out at the vast amount of space beyond.
It climbed out, hugging the rim of the chamber, too afraid to go further. But, a large hand cupped close to the chamber opened, welcoming the butterfly onto its palm. Soon, the butterfly began to explore its space, thankful to this one who rescued it, giving it a new life, freedom.
Amazingly, the broken wing was healed. Testing its wings it began its ascent into the unknown. It felt whole and strong. Taking off like a tiny glider, it soared into the sky, lifted by a soft breeze.
The rescuer stood tall, larger than life watching, smiling as the butterfly swooped higher, now free to be all he was created to be.
I wrote the story, “Parable of the Butterfly” as an illustration based on the following scripture in Psalms 18:1
“He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.”
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:17 & 19 (NIV)
I love the Psalms that David wrote as he went through the most difficult times in his life, crying out to God to deliver him from his sorrow, anguish and torment. He was set free from those things and from his enemies (King Saul) who kept him running for his very life. He was in grave danger, hiding from his enemies, but God knew where he was all the time, watching over him, protecting him. Not only did God deliver David, and spare his life, but made him the new King of Israel, blessing him beyond and above what he once was before, a shepherd watching over his father’s flock. (Story can be found in I Samuel, chapters 17,18 & 19).