My sons, their wives and I were recently gathered at the younger one’s house to watch a favorite college’s football game. Suddenly, a worm-like creature dropped onto the floor in front of the fireplace. We girls screamed appropriately while the guys took a closer look and decided it was a larvae stage of something, probably a moth. It was brown with stripes, a bulbous head, and odd eyes on the big end. Honestly, it looked like an ugly little monster. I snapped a cell phone picture before my son scooped it up and unceremoniously deposited it outdoors. We turned our attention back to the TV to watch our team lose yet another game.
The next day, I went on an internet search and discovered that the “little monster” was probably the last stage of a swallowtail butterfly. His eyes were actually decoy markings to protect him from predators. I was heartbroken. If only I had known what a beauty he would become, I would have tried to keep him so he could spin his cocoon in the safety of my house. If only I’d had eyes to see what he would become.
And that got me thinking. I wonder how often I judge a person by what shows on the surface, rather than the beautiful creature God is making them, inside and out. I wonder how often I write myself off as an ugly brown worm instead of looking for the Creator’s redemptive work in process. And I wonder how often I, in the midst of messy circumstances, forget that God has an end product in mind, and it will be good. “Behold, I make all things new,” He says. (2 Cor. 5:17; Rev. 21:5)
“Lord, help me remember the butterfly when all I can see is a wormy little monster. Give me eyes to see your good plans.”