Friday, April 22, 2011

Hope Flies Despite Broken Wings! (Part III - Transformation Series)

It is 3 o'clock on Good Friday as I remember Jesus' ultimate act of trust of his Father and his unimaginable love for us. After suffering anguish on the cross for hours, Jesus gave up his spirit with the words, It is finished (John 19:30). The work he came to do was done; he gave his life that we might live. 

To celebrate the freedom Jesus died to bring us, today we released the butterflies we've befriended over the last three weeks. The kids unzipped the roof of the habitat and, after about twenty seconds, the first butterfly flew straight toward us. Another landed on our plumbago bush, a third one headed for the roof of our house and the fourth chose to visit our neighbor's yard. 

And then there was the fifth butterfly the one that captured our hearts. We named her Hope.

Having fallen during the critical chrysalis phase, Hope's transformation wasn't quite normal. As this butterfly emerged from its pupal stage, part of the chrysalis adhered to its left wing. Though it seemed to fly normally in the habitat where we studied them, we wondered whether she'd fly well enough to survive out in the real world. She looked like a pilot ejected from her plane, backpack in place, ready to let out the chute. 

I was able to remove some of the chrysalis off the wing with a pair of tweezers last week, and just two days ago I noticed the rest of it had fallen off. Still, having a chrysalis stuck to it affected her wing development. Hope has no back wing on the left side at all.

Notice Hope's missing back left wing.
So we released our five winged friends, but Hope stayed behind, as if she, too, was unsure how things would go outside the safety of her home. But after about three minutes, her wings began to flutter, resembling a hummingbird flapping rapidly in place. And, then, without warning, Hope soared toward a nearby live oak and sat on a leaf. As we approached her in awe of her first long flight, she flew down and rested on the ground, right in front of us, long enough for me to snap this shot.

We were thrilled to see that she can fly, and well. She flew high, like the others, and seemed able to do so without any trouble. Hope can fly despite her broken wing.

I once read that bumblebees defy the laws of aerodynamics and that, based on their shape and the size and weight of their wings, they should not be able to fly. Yet, they do, much like Hope with her broken wing. Some things just don't make sense, but our inability to understand the "how" doesn't change the fact of the "what." Hope can fly, and so can the bumblebee, and that's that.
On this Good Friday, we remember the greatest act in history. Jesus came as an innocent child and lived a sinless life. He healed the sick, taught about God's kingdom, and showed us what love really means. After a lifetime spent serving others and caring for the needy, the hurt, and the broken, he was repaid on a lonely cross. He chose this path willingly, and he did it out of love.

His love is the source of our hope, and this is why. Jesus ... was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, emphasis added) 

Our broken wings are no surprise to God. He knew we needed mending; that's why He sent Jesus. And it is by his wounds that we are healed, that we may live in freedom and help others heal from their brokenness. We may not understand this, but that doesn't change the fact that he did this out of love for each of us. 

As we contemplate Jesus' unending love, we can rejoice in our brokenness and release it unto him, the One who is able to help us fly despite our broken wings.

Be free!
Dr Mari

* For more of this series on transformation, read Be Still and Know for Part I, Baggage-free Flying for Part II, and A Favorite Christmas Gift ... Insects! for Part IV. * 


  1. Happy Easter! What a beautiful piece...I can relate with you the beauty of the lifecycle of a butterfly. My kids and I experienced this miracle several times this year as it was part of our 4H project.
    Hope is a gift I once lost but by HIS grace and lots of love from my family and friends I realized where it was hiding.

    Thank you for sharing, I loved this.

  2. You are a beautiful child of God, Idaliz! May He continue to use you powerfully to bless everyone on your path. You've been set free... to love!


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