I love butterflies. I love watching them float around. I love their colors. I love the flowers that attract them. Caterpillars aren’t really my thing, but I love what they become.
Last summer I read about how exactly a caterpillar body becomes a beautiful butterfly. It’s not a pretty process. As I’ve watched the butterflies flit around since I’ve thought about how that works, and about the beautiful potential in all of us, and maybe the not so pretty processes it takes to get us there.
A baby butterfly looks nothing like an adult butterfly. You would have to have watched the process from start to finish, or take the word of someone else who has, to realize that the gross little worm thing can become a beautiful butterfly. It’s not like parent butterflies can look at their babies and talk about whose eyes they have. It makes me wonder if little caterpillars know their potential. Can they sense the beautiful wings they will have? While they are crawling around on leaves and twigs do they feel the pull of the sky to fly?
Baby humans look a lot like adult humans, just slightly different proportions. Yet sometimes I think we have a hard time seeing the growing potential in each of us. We are more than caterpillars becoming butterflies. Our growth is not so much the physical, visual changes of our bodies but the changes in our souls, our minds, our spirits, making us into who we truly can become, something more divine.
There are rough parts of me that I’ve had to get rid of and remold into something else, something stronger, like the caterpillar that digests itself to make its body something lighter, something designed to soar. A caterpillar might not realize the butterflies it sees are what it can become, but I can look to God, in whose image I was created, and see where my potential lies, the beauty that is within me.