My Sunday began with a sermon by my church’s Senior Minister Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colglazier. It was the beginning of our year’s theme of “Love, Compassion, and the Art of Forgiveness.” In his sermon (available as an MP3 on the FCCLA.org website), Dr. Colglazier talked about this moment he had:
“I was sitting out in a lawn chair – no shirt, no shoes…that’s probably too much information, but I don’t wear this robe seven days a week! It was a wonderful summer day. I was reading through a couple of different books in preparation for my sermon this morning, but while I was sitting there – this beautiful butterfly started flying all around me. […] It was softly dancing in the air […] it was lovely. At first it landed near my feet, and then it flew off again. And then it landed on the arm of my chair, and then it flew off yet again. And that’s when it happened, I’m sitting in the chair, and this one beautiful, elegant butterfly […] it landed right on my chest, right over the place of my heart.”
Sunday’s reading was on the Prodigal Son and Rev. Colglazier’s sermon focused on the art of forgiveness. In order to forgive, we have to love. What does this have to do with a butterfly landing on the heart? Essentially that God is like a butterfly, looking for a place to land in our hearts, and that we just have to let God in.
There’s always something about butterflies that have made their way into a definition in my life. I love butterflies because they transform from something else, they’re beautiful for a limited-time only, and they come-and-go as reminders that life can happen in glorious moments. There’s something about them that evokes a bit of magic.
Perhaps the magic of the story continued on that day because the other great symbol of my life – the heart – made an appearance. This was after a great Bach Festival rehearsal and I was walking home. I looked down on the path and saw a perfectly heart-shaped leaf. I looked around and saw that the plant it came from didn’t really have heart-shaped leaves.
I know the association of the girl and the love of hearts and butterflies meets a million cliches, but the heart is just this beautiful symbol to me because it represents love, which I firmly believe is something that can change the world.
So in looking back on that day of a butterfly landing and a heart-shaped leaf, I was trying to piece together what it all might mean as a whole. I’ve decided that just as important as it is to let God and love into your heart, it’s just as equally important to trust in God in every step because you never know when love will find you like an unexpected heart on a well-worn path.