Thursday, October 16, 2008

The blue butterfly

Recently I watched a DVD movie entitled The Blue Butterfly, based on the true story of a ten-year-old boy diagnosed with brain cancer who wants to travel to the rainforests of Costa Rica to see and capture a blue morpho butterfly. He travels there with his mother and a renowned etymologist who has seen the blue morpho himself. He professes that the blue morpho is a miracle, and that once you catch one, you can ask it the questions of life and it will give you answers.

When they reach a native village on the outskirts of the rainforest, the locals indoctrinate the young boy and his mother in the legend of the blue morpho. The shaman repeats what the etymologist has already told them. But then another man disturbs the circle, telling of the other side of the story, that there are evil spirits in the forest that take on forms of other animals, even the blue morpho. Once you are lured into the forest by the blue morpho, you are lost forever and can never get out.

The blue morpho has two sides itself. One is the brilliant blue that attracts our eye and our imagination. The underside is a mousy brown with dull yellow 'eyes', resembling a common moth. The blue morpho is neither one side nor the other; it is both and more.

There are always two sides to every story, but lately I've come to believe that there is another that we cannot know because we cannot see everything there is know all at once. I've often said when my girls have been fighting that the third side is what God witnessed. But now I wonder.

One side of the human story believes that there is a God, a miracle, that we can ask the questions of life and there are answers to be found. Others believe that God wears masks, the faces of religions, lures us into the forest of the unknown, only to leave us there to be lost to ourselves. There is a God; there is not a God.

But what if there is a third side to that story, one that we don't know about because we can't see everything there is to know all at once. To me, that is what faith is all about. That is the human paradox in which we are called to live, minister, witness and love. And that takes courage. And companionship. Jesus is my companion. My church, my family, my friends, even my so-called enemies are my companions.

And with them we all see through a mirror darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now we know only in part; then we will know fully, even as we have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 12b-13)


Jan said...

Thank you.

Andy said...

This was so easily explained and very well said.