morning glories and eyespots

I sit with my coffee and Bible, praying over the things heavy on my heart, and the morning glories catch my eye.  A flower designed to pop open when sunlight reaches its petals, and close up tight again when the light wains.  This viney plant was so disturbing to my children at first.  How could something so lovely disappear so fast?  How indeed?  Maybe the better question is, why all that beauty in the first place?

This morning, I am contemplating.  Maybe . . . fuming a little?  Wondering how a God who takes the time to create this

morning glories taking over my backyard

and this

Migrating Gulf Fritillary (far from home!)

also allows record numbers of children to be born into filth, neglect, and abuse.  Wondering how a God who makes sunset after sunset fling color across the sky - in what can only be called an extravagant, unnecessary display of beauty - allows selfishness and discord and confusion to rip apart marriages.  Wondering how a God who whispers I am here in the crisp autumn wind and the steady-rolling ocean waves and the diamond streaks of a meteor shower can seem so desolately silent in the all the pain on this earth.

As I'm thinking about these flowers and praying again, a silvery butterfly appears with the paintings of an eye on her wings.  Sitting so still, allowing me to slide the screen door she's sitting on and get right up in her face with my phone.  More beauty.  Yes, I am the kind of person who sees divine intent in the arrival of a butterfly. (I sure hope it's not actually a moth, I get mixed up on my classifications sometimes.)

Actually, no.  I am not angry.  There's this weird peace too deep and strong for anger today, but I am confused, bewildered.  I am sad and unmoored.

I think of an old blog post.  This moment feeling just like that one.  Beauty and pain perched, wrenching together on my heart.  This impossible assemblage of vulnerability, mystery, and protection.  Love.

And I fall back to the question, who am I to even ask?  What mere shallow glimpse have I had, that I can even wonder why the world is the way it is?  But Beauty comforts anyway.  He knows we are flesh; we were doubters from the very beginning.

Funny how this pours out of me, when just yesterday I was comparing my work to another's and thinking again, this blog is too often silent and I should close it up for a while.  Until I can be serious about writing.  As if I am less serious because I allow my writing to be limited by my life?
God uses us each so differently, doesn't he?

A thump, rapid footsteps and a child pops out at the top of the stairs.  Ruffled hair and sleepy hugs.  Good morning, mama.

I take his hand.

Come, I say.  I have something to show you.

Gulf Fritillary, wings open


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