Mindy, a nurse in Bob's office, found a wonderful location full of Monarch butterfly caterpillars, and started collecting them for friends, family and for my Scouts. We watched one with wonder, go through the process from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Then she brought me 14, and some went to Girl Scouts, some to Cubs, one to Mary, and I have 3 left here. I took some pictures. It is magical.
The caterpillar eats himself out of several sizes of skins, then connects himself to the top with a button of silk and hangs upside down in a J shape for several hours. Then the skin splits at the back of the head and he wriggles and twists and expands himself to move the skin off and up and out of the way. It usually falls to the ground - a misshapen little black pile. What remains is beautiful and breathtaking . The chrysalis turns pale green with a crown of "jewels" across the back and spots of golden jewels elsewhere. But the real magic happens after a week to 10 days. The little shriveled butterfly breaks the thin shell and climbs out. It hangs on to the shell while it slowly pumps fluid into it's tiny wings - expanding them more than 4 times their size. Then, it flies.
The natural man is like that caterpillar. Slow, concerned only with the daily necessity to survive. Eating, moving slowly from leaf to leaf. But then it feels this urge to go higher - to become something else. In life, when we give ourselves to Christ, when we are willing to be broken and bridled, we change. We become beautiful. Unlike the chrysalis, we need to be busy during this stage too - busy in service, busy in learning, busy in good works. But while we wait and change, still tethered to the earth, we know there is something even better waiting for us. And when that day comes, when we are loosed from this mortal shell, we will find our wings and soar.
(These last pictures aren't mine - I will post if I get ones as good as these!)