Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Yellow Butterfly

One day as I was sitting on my porch, a solid yellow butterfly came to visit my garden. It flit about quickly, going from one flower to the next, so fast I could not take a picture of it. It would not stay still long enough. To me it was a ray of sunshine, flitting around in my life to bring me joy. Joy, warmth and healing, just like the sun does. It reminded me that my purpose in life is to live it at the fullest and to bring sunshine into the lives of those that happen to cross my path each day. Whether it’s a close friend, neighbor, church member, or the clerk in a store, I pray that I may always have a smile on my face, even if I’m not feeling well. A smile, a kind word, a cordial act, like holding the door for a stranger, these are random acts of kindness that don’t cost anything, so why not pass them on? These are things I can share with strangers as well as friends. I may not know if my smile cheers up someone who is feeling gloomy, but that doesn’t matter. God knows; that’s why He put that person in my path and that’s all that matters. And I hope my smile or act of kindness sets off a ripple effect that goes from one person to another. Again, I will never know how many lives that ripple effect touches, but God knows.
This is a lesson I learned when I first came home from Iran in 1977. When I lived and traveled in Asia, I became involved with charismatic evangelists who felt that Jesus was coming back in our lifetime. When I returned to the States, I thought, “What’s the use in living if it’s all going to come to an end any day now?” Well, I expressed these feelings to my husband and he, as usual, had excellent advice. He said, “I know that Jesus will come back one day but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop living for today.” “Oh, OK; good idea!” I thought. That’s how God communicated my present philosophy to me.I evangelize without saying a word, just showing the love of God in my life and the blessings He has bestowed on me.
 And it has been so much fun these past 35 years, just living for today and passing smiles around. You never know who you will meet and strike up a lasting friendship with. And there are other people living like this too, because sometimes strangers have come across my path, touched my life, and went on their way. Once we were in a restaurant, talking about Al’s diabetes. A couple sitting next to us overheard the topic and started asking questions because the wife had diabetes too. The man then turned to my daughter and said, “You’ve had struggles this year, but things are going to get better. God told me to tell you that.” The man was a preacher, and things did improve for Dorothy that year.
It is amazing that God speaks to us in so many different ways. I have a friend that God communicates with through the Bible. She asks for advice about a problem, then opens up her Bible randomly to a page and the exact answer she needs is right on that page! One time she had to have a breast biopsy because of a questionable mammogram. The Bible opened to Solomon 4:5, 7 that said, “Your breasts are like two fawns that feed among the lilies; you are beautiful; you are flawless.” The biopsy was negative! And last month Al woke up at 4:00 in the morning and could not get back to sleep. So at 5:30 he got up, turned on the computer, and read on a friend’s Facebook page that her father, a dear friend of ours, had spent the night in the emergency room and was just diagnosed with lung cancer. At 6:30 a mutual friend called to tell us the same news and was surprised to know that we had already heard it. We know it was God who woke Al up and kept him awake.
Two pictures show a monarch butterfly on my butterfly milkweed plant. Another show my red-leaf coleus plant with blue blooms. In the background is an artificial butterfly on the trellis; this is actually a solar light. In the very center of the fourth picture, you can see a tiny yellow dot. That is the yellow butterfly on a red bloom. 

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