This is a repost from three years ago, but I just felt it was fitting this week.
A friend of mine is an avid photographer, and recently she has been emailing me stunning photographs of butterflies in her garden. I was ecstatic on a recent morning to see a tiger swallowtail land among my zinnias. I rushed inside for my digital camera and snapped a dozen or so pictures, hoping at least one of them would come out well enough to send to my friend.
It wasn’t until I downloaded the photos and began cropping them that I realized something. The beautiful butterfly that I was so eager to photograph had tattered wings. The larger top wings were intact, but part of the lower wings had been clipped off somehow.
Nevertheless, the butterfly had posed for me as elegantly as any of its kindred, completely unconcerned with its deformity. The way the tips of its antennae curled up while it was drinking reminded me of a Victorian lady crooking her little finger as she sipped her tea. And surely no lady was ever attired as stunningly as this little creature, with such bold and intricate patterns on its parchment-thin wings.
Staring at those photographs on my screen, I recalled all the times that an injury I suffered affected the way I carried myself. I thought about all the failures, real or perceived, that still haunt me in unexpected moments and cause me to doubt my worth. I wondered how many times I could have sailed through a difficult situation by simply carrying myself proudly, knowing that my righteousness is in Christ, not in Christine.
I have printed this photo out and pinned it up in my office. It is a reminder that one can still fly with tattered wings.
“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” – Romans 1:17