13 Dec A True Miracle in Paris
In life, our world is filled with opposites. Where there is good, there is bad. When there is up, we inevitably have down. Where there is yes, there is also no. Life is like an elevator. We go up, and we go down. And the reality is that at some point, we ALL have our moments where we feel down. Last week, the elevator of my life went down. It wasn’t anything bad or life-threatening. But it was rooted in the uncertainty and unknown of what’s around the corner for me. I am at a time in my life where I am being (somewhat) forced to make a change. But within this transition, I don’t know where my life is going nor a clue as to where it will end up. I can’t even begin to speculate. So, there is a lot of uncertainty about my impending changes. With so much anxiety and fear about what’s coming, I took my troubles to God.
On Friday morning, during my daily walk with my dog Lia, I had a conversation with God. I laid out all the sorted details to Him (even though He is fully aware of all my problems. I suspect I have a very, very large file on his desk marked, “Milan’s non-life-threatening issues.”) But always the patient listener, He let me go on without interruption. At the end of my very long-winded list of worries, I said, “God, I need to know if my life is going to change for the better. If is it, show me a butterfly…IN THE NEXT 15 MINUTES!”
Well, as this is winter and Paris, I quickly realized the impossibility of my request. So, I open myself up to seeing my butterfly (a sign of positive transformation) on a painting, card, shirt, or anything. In fact, just the word butterfly would have been exciting! Well sadly, I didn’t see my butterfly within my 15-minute window. In fact, the day passed, and by the next day, I had forgotten all about my conversation with God and the butterfly. On Saturday, I was talking to a friend and she asked if I would be attending the Christmas Party at La Cite in Paris? I hadn’t intended to. However, after a phone call, my plans were changed, and I was on my way to the party, bright and early Sunday morning with a dear friend in tow. After the lovely music, presents, love, and community, I left to grab coffee with my friend. As we started on to Rue Montogueil, my friend asked if he could stop at the cash machine to take out some money.
We stopped, and I waited in the street. Just then, a black butterfly with slight bits of color on his wings came from nowhere and started to fly around me. I was overcome with joy. Then it landed in the middle of the street. Now me, ever trying to commune with nature channeled my inner Snow White and kneeled next to it in the street. I was mere inches away. So, I held out my finger with the hope that I could touch it. But it was clear that the butterfly was neither a fan of being touched nor impressed with my attempt at a Snow White impersonation. So, he flew away, but stayed close enough for me to share the miracle of his presence with my friend.
But the story doesn’t end there because God knew that I had not fully received all the messages this black- winged messenger was meant to give me. About 15 minutes later, much further down the street, the butterfly flew past me again. Once again, I was flooded with joy. But at the same time, I told my friend that I felt sadness that so many people may have looked at the same butterfly that day, but how few had really seen him or even appreciated what a gift it was to see this creature in the streets of Paris, much less on December 11th.
Later that day, as I was reflecting on the butterfly and fully in tears with gratitude for the love God had shown me, I realized that he had given me a third message. You see, when I asked to be shown a butterfly, I had very limited beliefs about how God could make that happen. I didn’t trust Him. Instead, I went into my database of what I “knew to be true,” and I put a limit on what God could give me. In fact, in some ways, I not only limited my possibilities, but I also went so far as to ask God to give me “second best” (a butterfly on a painting, shirt, etc.). It was in that moment, I understood that God ALWAYS wants me to have the best. But it was the beliefs of what I have been told by others and the uncertainty within myself that defined what was or was not possible.
This story that I share is not just a testimonial of God love. It is a message for everyone to BELIEVE that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE! Do not let your mind or others tell you what can or can’t be done, what is or isn’t possible. Because if God can manifest a butterfly in Paris for me in the dead of winter, imagine what He can do for you!