Butterfly encounters

As I was researching material for a short story about an antique dealer who collected rare butterflies, I came across a website that revealed a rich resource of stories involving those fascinating creatures.

I was amazed at the vast quantity of stories that had been contributed to this one website—hundreds of experiences—and I was struck by how big an impact the tiny butterfly has had on the lives of us mortals throughout the ages! Over 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks were already using the transformation of butterflies from pupa to adult as a metaphor of the soul’s resurrection and immortality.

A common thread running throughout the accounts I read on the website of butterfly encounters was how these wondrous creatures have comforted people in particularly difficult times in their lives. After reading so many of these stories, I wondered if butterflies could work their magic for me too. I was going through a rough time and especially missing my oldest daughter, who had passed away seven years earlier.

One evening, I asked God to send me a butterfly as a sign that she is still with us in spirit, and then forgot about it. However, the next day, as we were packing our equipment and loading up after a show in a distant rural area, a colorful butterfly persisted in fluttering by me the entire time. Then later as I was commenting on this to my friend while we were stopped at a traffic light, another butterfly passed in front of our windshield, as if to say, I am still with you.

But the most remarkable butterfly encounter occurred on Christmas Day. As our family was gathered around the tree, opening presents and enjoying one another’s companionship, a butterfly floated into the room and rested near the light. It stayed with us all day and all that night. The next morning it was gone, as if it had completed its mission. We were encouraged and thankful for its visit, feeling this was a sign to remind us of her at this special time.

Of course, our encouragement and comfort should not be dependent on such signs, but we can nonetheless appreciate them when they occur. God’s Word promises that if we ask, we will receive.1 If you need comfort or direction in your life, God can send messengers to your aid in a variety of forms—with or without wings.

  1. See Matthew 7:7.