By Marcia Lee Laycock
I received an invitation in the mail yesterday. It’s one of the home-made kind, with a border of stamped flowers around the edge. The card is really just a courtesy since I have been asked to be the speaker at the event, so I did not look at it very closely at first. It wasn’t until I was relaxing after supper that I noticed something seemed missing in the design. In the center of the card is a single flower and just to its right there is an insect. I stared at it for a moment, then realized what it was – a butterfly with no wings. I know it may seem odd, but that made me smile. You see, the topic I’d been thinking of for the event, a mother/daughter banquet to celebrate Mother’s Day, is “Giving Your Daughters Wings.”
I’ve been thinking about that poor little butterfly – how sad it is that she has no way to fly, no way to find the flowers that will give her nourishment. There are a lot of wingless butterflies in the world. I’ve had a personal experience with one recently. She moved into a house we own a few months ago and we recently had to ask her to leave. She did, and took everything that wasn’t nailed down with her – a coffee table, the vacuum cleaner, the lawnmower, even the garbage cans. I suspect the sale of all of those things will feed her drug habit. That young woman is a butterfly with no wings, crawling instead of flying, living a life she wasn’t designed to live. Proverbs 29:15 says – “…a child left to itself disgraces his mother.” Too many children have been left to themselves in this world.
As a mother, I’ve sometimes wondered if my actions have clipped my children’s wings, or strengthened them. (I think it was Dr. James Dobson who said motherhood is the most guilt ridden profession on earth!) Was I too permissive or too strict? Did I crush their dreams? Did I make them feel that they were loved enough or did I give the impression I had no time for them in my busy schedule? Did I show them where to find the flowers that would nourish their bodies, minds and most of all, spirits? It is a mother’s responsibility to do that – to lead, to correct, to nurture.
The good news is that even if I have messed up, and since I’m human I know I have, there is still hope. Even a wingless butterfly can have hope. God’s grace is available to everyone. It can make wings grow and strengthen those that are too weak to fly. God’s forgiveness can teach a butterfly how to soar. His word can lead it right to the sweetest of nectars. His spirit can put wind under its wings and blow it to a place of sunlight and peace.
The good news is that God invites us to be part of that process. He invites us to tell people about Him, show them by how we live, what it means to have wings, and then issue an invitation to accept the forgiveness that will make them into complete butterflies.
Maybe you know one or two who are crawling on the ground instead of flying. Maybe you need to extend an invitation. I know I do.