This fall, our fifteen-year-old son was assigned the task of collecting and classifying insects for his freshmen biology class. After a few weekends working to catch the critters, we pulled the glass jars out of the freezer so he could make the display board. If you’ve ever attempted this project, then you know that the wings of butterflies and moths need to be pinned open, but when you take them out from the freezer, their wings are closed.
Thanks to a quick search on the internet, we found that if you wrap the insect in a moist paper towel for a while, the wings will become pliable. Since the creatures are so brittle in this state, we had to work carefully using tweezers and a steady hand to get the wings to unfold.
There was a particular butterfly that had such drab coloring when its wings were clamped together, but when we gently loosened them, they held exquisite beauty. A pale mint green backdrop gave way to an intricate white, brown, and yellow pattern. How often are we like the butterfly, tightening our grip rather than letting go and showing our unique design?
A few weeks ago, my husband was offered the opportunity to do an interview with a small television production company to spread the news about his ministry. In general, he doesn’t like being the center of attention, and it would have been easy for his to say, “no thanks” out of stubbornness, laziness, or fear. But he said, “yes” and will do an interview soon.
When I began writing three years ago, I told very few people. To this day, no one but me has read my first novel. But somewhere along the way, I knew I didn’t want to write just for my own pleasure. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have felt the cost at times…even sharing blogs can be a challenge!
But God gifts us each with different abilities to paint the world in color—like the butterfly. And if we fall prey to the lie that only the most exceptional can share, recite these words from Henry Van Dyke. “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”
I’m still working on opening my grip, but I pray you’ll be inspired to explore your unique talents. Whether it’s playing the oboe, painting a landscape, tap dancing, baking, saying “yes” to a speaking engagement, or writing, flap your wings, friends.
Image Credit: Pixabay Contributor Heung Soon