A White Peacock butterfly, photographed by our son. Since my maiden name is White, I feel as if the butterfly and I are soulmates since we share the same name! My butterfly story continues…
After returning home from the “week of butterflies” (yesterday’s post), I began to read more books; books on spirituality. Reading When the Heart Waits, by Sue Monk Kidd, solidified the answer to my quest for the theme of an art reception following my program on the life of Jesus. In her spiritual memoir, Kidd wrote of a time she saw butterflies everywhere. Wait, that had just happened to me! I read more. Each chapter of the book ties different life stages of this mysterious creature to faith. I began my search for art representing various life stages of the butterfly to include in the art reception. Butterfly art was easy to find. My grandmother had a hand-painted butterfly teapot set, a church member who created sculptures from recycled metal contributed a butterfly, and another member displayed her photographs. One friend let me borrow a tray full of beautiful blue butterfly wing designs and another offered a butterfly kite from Japan. The other stages were not as easily found. Where would I find caterpillar art?
That fall, we traveled several hours to spend Thanksgiving with my grandmother. Our children enjoyed hiking at the nature center there, so we took some time to visit. My mouth dropped when I noticed an entire exhibit of caterpillar art on the walls. Inquiring at the front desk, I got the artist’s information and contacted her. The following spring she personally brought twenty pieces of her art, each depicting a different species of caterpillar, to display at our reception. I put our kids to work creating a few eggs and cocoons out of clay. In my final attempt at procuring fine art for the exhibit, I contacted my college freshman advisor from thirty years ago, George Olson. He was an art professor at Wooster, and his detailed paintings of prairie plants have been on display at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Traveling three hours, George brought his paintings of plants and flowers to the reception exhibit as an expression of nourishment for caterpillars and butterflies, just as we receive nourishment by the Word of God. God’s nourishment sustains me on my journey through life. I will continue to have times of trials which eventually cycle back up, just like the butterfly’s life cycle. But knowing God’s love and forgiveness for me keeps me from falling as deeply as before. I am in awe of how this exhibit was drawn together by so many creative individuals, including an artist I didn’t even know. I believe God’s hand touches everything and each piece of art is a unique expression of the artists’ soul.
Creation has a unique language of proclamation and praise. Each part of the created order speaks eloquently of its Creator, just as artistry reveals the soul of the artist. ~Marjorie Thompson
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. -Psalm 42:2a