Ruby Tuesdays--Bugged

On a recent afternoon I was at the park with Boo and some preschool playmates. The air was filled with winged-creatures, flitting, diving, racing. After we picked up Bug from school (no pun intended), I noticed that they filled the air along a main boulevard. So many swirled in the breeze they resembled fall leaves that never hit the ground.

We were all charmed and entranced by the "butterflies." Until later that afternoon, that is.

"Mom! Mom! There's a big butterfly in the back. It can't fly." The boys came in all excited about their find.

"Leave it alone. It will take off on its own."

"We tried to get it to fly, but it can't."

Remembering some vague elementary school science information about butterflies not being able to fly with wet wings or if the powdery scales on their wings are disturbed, I though I'd better go see for myself to possibly protect the delicate creature from the enthusiastic curiousity of my guys.

I was soooo not prepared for the small-bird sized MOTH on our patio rug. It totally creeped me out. I stifled the scream that wanted to escape and beat a hasty retreat back inside, with an over-the-shoulder reminder to leave it alone and it would take off. I'll spare you the details of what I'm afraid happened to the ugly thing.

The next day as I watched another flock of fluttering bugs fly out of the vineyards, I realized that all week we'd been fascinated by smaller cousins of that big moth. Remembering the dull, brown spots and markings of our icky visitor, I started to wonder why moths are creepy when we consider butterflies beautiful. After all, they start out basically the same, as varying types of caterpillars. They go through a transition that turns them into a completely new creature. But why do we value the slender-bodied, colorful winged version over the plump, plain counterpart?

Unlike their plant-pollinating counterparts, moths are pests. They can destroy entire crops by nibbling away at them. In our homes, they ruin clothes and food. And there's something about them that makes them visually repulsive.

From a distance, it's hard to tell the difference--unless you're an entymologist, or maybe a farmer. But up close, it takes barely a second look to see that a moth is really a homely imitation of an attractive species.

It got me thinking that people can be the same way. Flitting about, charmingly beguiling from a distance. But a closer look reveals characteristics that make one want to turn away. Conversely, when we encounter the truly beautiful version we're drawn in for a closer look. The kaleidescopic nature of God's best handiwork on display almost begs for more investigation.

I don't want to be a moth. I want to be sure that I am transformed into the true beauty of His creation. I hope to be the kind of woman that people are drawn to because they can't resist His handiwork, rather than the sort that looks interesting as long as I keep moving and keep people at a distance.

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

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Stephanie said...

What a beautiful post! This is a great meme I will have to add to my ever growing list!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I don't think I've ever witnessed a bird-sized moth; gracious, I'd run too! But moth sized people? Yep. Occasionally one looking back at me in the mirror. I want the beauty of Jesus as my markings; I want him to be easily seen through attraction to others, not a repulsion.

And while my temporal beauty is a quick fade, I want the loveliness of Jesus to grow in its place.

Well said, Mary. And about those moths...


Joyful said...

What a beautiful post Mary, and being a visual girl I can 'see' your teaching here. I've visited a butterfly conservatory, and the numerous varieties of these captivating little winged creations are many. There is still great beauty, His beauty, within individuality.

I pray others will see His handiwork in me,

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