It flew in through the open back door, fluttering it’s wings in pure pleasure. Bouncing in the unseen waves and eddies of whatever breeze existed inside, the butterfly first rested on the radiator, then took off again aiming for some unknown location deeper inside my home. Like a statue I stood watching, then realising that the poor creature was lost, I began to open curtains and windows, trying hopelessly to direct it somehow to freedom.
Suddenly, just as I’d opened a route that would allow the butterfly to escape, it turned and went straight towards the wide open back door, floating out into freedom like nothing had ever happened. One second lost, the next exploring the world once again with the sun on its back.
I’ve messed up. My life is not where it ought to be; things did not turn out as planned. I type here now as a single man, reflecting on mistakes and missed opportunities to get life right. I consider the promises I made myself, the ambitions I once had and I realise that my life is no way near where I thought it would be.
But I also sit here now as a very blessed man. Despite my flaws, I have a career that has allowed me to purchase a home. The sun is shining down so strong that moments ago I was sat in the garden reading, soaking up every ray. Over the past few days I’ve been surrounded by friends – both in the real and virtual worlds – who have visited, partied and blessed me with their company.
Although my life is not what I expected, I find Jesus stood right in the midst of it. I realise that, whether we are Christian or not, Jesus is standing by us. For those suffering in uncontrollable situations – slaves, people trapped in unspeakable industries, families split and persecuted – Jesus stands with them in the midst of their pain. Why do I say this? Because I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he died for ALL our mistakes, to rectify spiritually what is wrong with this world. From that logic, he stands with everyone, Christian, Atheist, Muslim… Everyone!
Why? Because He loves us beyond our own ability to comprehend that love.
The implications of knowing that Jesus is with everyone are immense. When I realise He was there through the tough times in my life, I also begin to understand how he shed tears with me when things weren’t going according to plan. When I appreciate the way He dwells with the terrorist, I understand more than ever the pain he goes through as He experiences the rejection and separation of His love, because nobody likes it when love is not reciprocated. Yet Jesus stays, because His is a perfect love.
I believe that our relationship with Father God may be directly linked to our choice to follow, and that Jesus is waiting for us to make that choice. But the most important things is that, while Jesus waits, he dwells and lives with us, experiencing life as we experience it – every up and every down.
Like the butterfly who temporarily lost his way, when we hit a low point we can easily turn to the wrong guide. For that butterfly, it was me, attempting to usher it towards an open window. Yet it knew better than me – rather than accept all the earthly wisdom I had, it turned back to where it had gone wrong and flew back into the Son.