Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Several weeks ago my little two-year-old daughter was playing with her toys and decided to strap on her butterfly wings. She was having a pretty good time for a while, when she got further down in the toy box and found her purple super hero cape. She wanted to put it on. When my husband tried to convince her to take of the wings, she refused. So he velcroed the cape on right over the wings. It was awkward. She yanked on it for a while to keep it from being so jagged, but she looked like a jagged purple hunchback. She tried to go with it for as long as she could, but pretty soon she flew back over to us and uttered a very profound truth. I only wish I could remember her exact toddler jargon for this. But essentially, she said, "No cape. Alrey butterfly." Think about it. You don't need a cape if you're already a butterfly! The moment I heard her say it, I knew it meant something. But it has taken a little bit of time for the meaning to unfold for me. Maybe it means something different to you. But for me, this is it. I spend a lot of time, too much time, really, trying to fit into a cape. I see my neighbor in a beautiful cape, making incredible gourmet dinners with vegetables from her backyard. It's usually on a day I hardly had time to pick up a pizza. I see songwriting friends writing songs I truly wish I had written, they're so good. I see their capes billowing in the wind. I go to the mall and try to find something that can make me look amazing, and I notice the ridiculous price tag. Capes I can't afford. I get discouraged. All the while I don't remember that I have wings! If I paid better attention, I might notice some of those super hero ladies admiring them, and wishing for them. I have my own set of gifts. My own list of things I do best. Is being a butterfly better than being a super hero? Not necessarily. But is a super hero better than a butterfly? I'd say not. Could butterflies do some of the same things that super heros can? Sometimes, maybe. If they practiced. But that's not the point. I'm already something pretty great. I'm a butterfly! I have to admit that most of the time I feel more like a caterpillar than a butterfly. But I'm starting to remember more often that I really do have wings. I want to use them to do what they're best at, and fill this world with the things that only I can give. I want to quit trying so hard to be someone else. Easier said than done, I know. I have lots of heroes in my life and I'm so grateful for them. I will always try to be more like them. But I'll try to do it in my own special butterfly way, because that's who I am. And I get the feeling that God loves butterflies quite a lot.