If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter
of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal
likewise with their fellow men.
Francis of Assisi
(spicebrush butterfly seeking a safe perch / Julie Cook / 2017)
I was leaning over, pulling up a few weeds out of the freshly strewn pine straw bed,
when I caught a bit of movement on a freshly trimmed bush.
A butterfly sat with fluttering wings wide open…not in the sun, but rather in the shadows.
It’s still a bit chilly in the mornings and early evenings here…however those first
hardy souls of the butterfly world are beginning to make their seasonal appearance.
I know that butterflies must sun themselves, warming up their muscles.
If the temps dip into the 40’s, butterflies can’t even move let alone fly.
I watched this wee one flitter from the shelter and shade of the shrubbery,
heading happily outward into the sun, only to lite upon the bay laurel tree.
The butterfly struggled on the slick laurel leaves to get traction.
Vainly attempting to climb up the leaves, in order to reach a sunnier spot in which to bask
in the beauty of the day, the butterfly kept slipping back down to the underside of the leaf,
while all the little fragile black legs worked furiously…
as my little friend scrambled to gain a foothold upward.
Yesterday we had tornados.
20 touched down throughout the state with one of those touchdowns being in my county.
It was nothing like our neighbors to the west in Louisiana,
but destructive none the less.
Property was damaged, cars crushed, college housing lost windows,
and even one of the local fire stations had it’s roof lifted of and taken away…
while a side wall then gave way….
Thankfully no one was hurt and no lives lost.
Today is a far cry from yesterday…
Today is one of those Chamber of Commerce type of days.
Warm, brilliant blue sky, white puffy clouds—
a true welcome mat coaxing one and all to venture out of doors.
Tomorrow however is to be like yesterday…
storm ridden and supposedly worse then we saw Monday.
Such is life in the Spring in the South…
beautifully inviting one minute, then hell on earth the next…
Sending both man and beast seeking shelter….
So for today as the butterfly and I currently enjoy wandering about a bit outside,
free from the confines of indoors or shelter…
I do so with knowledge that we both will most likely be seeking a safe haven
at some point tomorrow…
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”