Michele-Campbell-Thinking-Out-LoudGod calls on the delicate butterfly to remind us he is with us.

I have realized that if I were to have a patron insect, it would be the butterfly. They have come across the path in my life’s journey quite a bit.

Some instances are to just push the “pause” button of life to admire their beauty; other times I feel they cross my path as a sign of a something amazing, and sometimes they are just plain amazing.

This summer I had the joy of traveling, which also included taking my camera everywhere just in case there were those special moments. I was not disappointed! I had a wealth of subjects created by God to photograph: cute canines, bees, dragonflies, hummingbirds, sunsets and yes, butterflies.

I have been intrigued by their bold patterns delicately placed on such fragile wings. I am amazed by their strength and stamina, as some species can migrate hundreds of miles. I admire God who created them and used the bright colors in his box of crayons.

After one lucky day of camera-willing butterflies, I eagerly downloaded my shots. There was a particular yellow fella that I had photographed from many angles as he worked diligently on a flower. It was interesting to see him zoomed in, as we don’t usually get to see them up close. What I didn’t realize was there was more to him than his colors and symmetry.

(Photo by Michele Campbell)

                                   (Photo by Michele Campbell)

I captured splits in his wings, gaps between veins, as well as complete parts of his wing structure completely gone. There is no telling the story behind his damaged wings – time, weather, environment, maybe even humans. What was amazing was that despite his damages, he continued to do his butterfly thing, with the strength and stamina as if he were untouched.

Perhaps he had struggles around which to maneuver, but it was not evident. God knew what he was doing when he made these magnificently strong creations. Maybe it’s unknown to a butterfly, but if God created it, God will protect it and God will give it strength.

There are times in our lives where our wings are frayed, split and damaged. We are faced with the time, weather and the environment of life. The story of our damaged wings may not be known, yet we continue to fly. Perhaps we struggle to maneuver our way in our daily lives, and most of the time it is not evident. God knew what he was doing when he made us magnificently stronger than we realize. Maybe it’s unknown to us, but if God created us, God will protect us and God will give us strength.

We need to remember that as we fly through life with damaged wings. Although frayed, we are still able to fly. Perhaps our sign that he is with us is depicted in the wings of a butterfly, created by God and his magnificent box of crayons.

(Campbell, a freelance writer, teaches third grade.)