Jun 27, 2010

Babies and Butterflies...

Do you want to know my favorite place to worship? It's not where you might think. It's not in my church, or a favorite chapel... it's in nature, because there I really SEE how He loves us.

I have stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon and have been amazed at His creation. I have looked up at the foot of a Giant Sequoia Tree, which had stood for thousands of years, and His majesty fills my heart. I have climbed alongside a 600 foot tall waterfall and been sprayed by the roaring water, and His power overwhelms me. I have sat on a beach and looked at the vastness of the ocean, stretching as far as my eyes can see, and I am humbled that He would even consider me.

More recently I have found myself in awe of a different category of His creation, children. It feels like everywhere I go, I see pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and preschool children. My two are already school-age and I marvel at how fast they went from helpless infants to two fairly independent kiddos.

What a miracle babies are! What an incredible creation! What a blessing beyond measure that God gives us for such a short time.  

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[a] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me! 
Psalm 139:13-18 (New Living Translation) Biblegateway.com
As you may know, recently some friends of mine had a terrible loss.  Their baby boy, Ethan, died during childbirth 16 days ago. Prayers for them have filled my mind and heart over the last 2 weeks.  As I prayed for them, I kept getting the imagery of a butterfly fluttering, floating, fading away.

The thing I love about butterflies is their combination of graceful fragility and beauty.  The lifecycle of a butterfly reminds me also of new life and new beginnings. Though most only live between 2 and 6 weeks, they live life to the fullest during that time and leave a lasting legacy on the earth, (perhaps something we could learn from the butterfly)!

God has a purpose in everything.  He carefully designs these butterflies for such a short stay on earth, yet their lives serve a purpose.  In that same way, little Ethan left the world too soon, but he will live on in the memories and hearts of those who love him.  I pray that as time goes on, God will use Dave and Ami in the lives of others who have to walk this road. 

This poem is for Dave and Ami.

Tucked inside, 
cocooned within.
Hearing hearbeats
and distant voices.
Tiny flutters like butterfly wings.
The promise of a life,
the hope of a thousand dreams.
Waiting patiently for him,
a secret, a mystery.
Like a chrysalis opening
the day arrived.
One moment shattering
that peace, their hope.
Like a butterfly,
pausing for one moment
he took wing
and floated away
on a breath.
AJ Collins 2010

Just me, AJ


  1. You are a wonderful friend to those lovely parents, and this is a soul filler of a post. Thank you.

  2. Very good poem, praying for them still!

  3. Sorry for your friend's loss. I also LOVE to behold god's hand in the beauty that surrounds us. And one day I'll make it to the grand canyon. I recently went to Garden of the Gods in CO and The Badlands in SD. Breathtaking!!

    Thanks for the beautiful post.

  4. I do a lot of worship in my car, of all places!! We like to pray as we're en route or blast praise songs. (I promise I keep my eyes open while praying and driving :o))But I'd much rather be hiking. I completely agree--when I'm surrounded by nature, it feels like God is all around me! I just love to be in the Sierras with the wind moving through the pine trees and to hear the stellar jays and NOTHING ELSE. It's indescribable.

    Your poem is beautiful. As always, I love your writing. I hope it (and the many prayers) bring some measure of comfort to your friends during this terribly difficult time.

  5. What a great and heartfelt post. I am praying for your friends too. I cannot even begin to imagine what I would do in their shoes. Lean on God, I guess...it's really the only option!


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