by Caryl Moll
If a butterfly were to land on your shoulder, how would you react?
I have a feeling most people will simply lap up the moment for all its worth. Few people would shake off a butterfly, or swipe at it. The rarity of this little creature’s presence wouldn’t be lost on them. Most of us would smile and sit still – absorbing the event for all its preciousness. Some of us may even reach for our cameras. I personally would be awe-inspired – cherishing the moment. And yes, it has happened to me.
I equate this particular feeling of a butterfly on my shoulder to the delicate touching of a soul when a friend offers a moment of real support and friendship – unconditionally. We sit beside on another and merely ‘listen’ to our reality without judgement. So special!
I truly believe that the greatest gift anyone can give to another person is simply to ‘be there’ for them – like Christ does for us. He is always available, always on call and always gently leading us. We can talk to him, spill our heart out to him and he will always be listening. It is only through our quiet relationships with him that we can find the guidance we seek. We can learn from Him in how we treat others.
Although it’s difficult, we can sometimes offer a more enriched interaction with someone when we offer an honest, listening ear to their personal and unique reality – without judgement and with absolute unconditional acceptance, trusting that God is quietly working in their life.
I call this particular type of interaction: “THE BUTTERFLY TOUCH”.
Unconditional acceptance is not easy – simply because we all have agendas and preconceived ideas – knowingly or unknowingly. As humans we are often quick to apply our own perspectives, judgements and offer unsolicited opinions on the lives of others. As Christians it’s usually a seemingly desperate Christian agenda too.
Sometimes, however, this preconception can be an unintentional stumbling block for the person we are trying to help. Indeed, by imposing our own views, we may also be hampering the will of God in that person’s life. He is ultimately in control of that person’s life. He has a personal plan for them – we need to be careful not to interfere. After all, “there is a time for everything,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
The timing of God’s plan in a person’s life belongs to Him, not us! We are merely tasked with echoing how Christ would respond to them – in love. I acknowledge that it would take a concerted effort for the average person to really try to give a person this kind of gift. Can we truly accept someone’s reality ‘unconditionally’? How do we do this?
Some time ago, I adapted our Church’s statement of intent ever so slightly to make it really practical for me. It was my personal aim to quantify and qualify what could be construed as unconditional acceptance (“the butterfly touch”). I think 1 Corinthians 13 illustrates it so well. It’s a beautiful guideline for true friendship and unconditional love!
This is how my personal, adapted passage goes…
“To you, my friend, I will exercise patience and kindness. I will not be envious of your achievements nor will I boast of mine. I will not be proud or rude. I will look to your interests and try not to insist on my own. I will not be easily angered. I will not keep a record of your wrongs, but grant you forgiveness in advance. Neither will I delight in your misfortune. I will encourage the good in you and will let the rest die of neglect. I will rejoice in all truth. I will always protect you, always trust you, always hope in you and always persevere with you. My love for you will never fail, because you are a child of God”
(adapted from 1 Cor 13)
The parameters of this passage, if you think about it, are really difficult for the average human being. Without the ‘butterfly touch’ of Jesus, it would be absolutely impossible. We need His Holy spirit to fervently focus on these ideals. It is something that I personally strive for, although I usually fail dismally.
Prayer: “Lord, Father God, help me to apply your ‘butterfly touch’ to all those I interact with. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Help me to do the same for others.”
What do you think? Will you embrace “THE BUTTERFLY TOUCH.”
With love, in Christ