A quick, simple stop at the nursery for a couple of knock out rose bushes turned into a month’s worth of worry and wonder.
I was all ready to check out when the attendant, Maxine, held up a pot with a solitary plant. “In two weeks this will be a monarch butterfly.” I stared at the acorn-shaped chrysalis suspended by a tiny strand from the underside of a leaf.
Like any other school child, at some point in my elementary education, I had learned about the four stages of a butterfly, but although I had dutifully memorized diagrams in my textbook, I had never witnessed this transformation. Maxine examined another plant, found a tiny larva on the underside of a leaf, held it up for me to see and smiled.
There’s a time for learning facts, and there’s a time for experiencing wonder. I was ready for wonder.
I placed the caterpillar-bearing blood flower in the back seat of my car and drove as cautiously as a new mother with a Baby On Board! bumper sticker.
As it turned out, there were three, not one, larva, two of them about a week behind the first in development. The first chomped its way up one leaf and down another. Then one day, just when it was so fat, it was beginning to cross the line from fascinating to creepy, it climbed out of the pot, down the table, across the room and up the end stand. Every time I caught it and put it back, it escaped again.
This restlessness. I recognize it. This unsettled urging that precedes life change and drives mothers-to-be to make nests.
That night the caterpillar found its spot, anchored itself into a little silk wad and waited. A week later, the other two did the same.
Day after day, I sit at my desk and watch them there on the windowsill. They hang silent, these pale green capsules crowned with rims of gold. Their seeming stillness belies the activity surging through the cells within these monarchs-in-the-making.
One at a different stage than the other. But each in its own perfect time.
I’m reminded of another time a few thousand years ago when another body lay still as though dead. And yet the power of transformation that must have surged through his mortal frame and raised it as glory!
It’s a good lesson for those times in my own life when it seems nothing is happening, that I’ve stalled, suspended—at times upside down even.
And then two weeks later, as timely as the ebb and flow of tides, as sure as the circle of the earth around the sun, right on time as perfectly planned, the chrysalis darkens as the black and orange of wings appear.
And then, it emerges, head first, wings unfolding, the chrysalis splits and marvel of marvels!
How perfect are God’s ways! How perfect is his time. How wondrous is this marvel of transformation and all things made new!
O me of little faith. May I remember I too, am royalty in the making!
Are you wondering in your wait? Worried that nothing is going to change? Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if youbelieved, you would see the glory of God? You are royalty in the making, privileged to see the glory of God.
I've been gone awhile, but it's good to be back and to see you here,