What’s grown within this earthly shell?
Like seed casing
Shelters the essence within,
A means of transport and protection
Finding fertile ground in which to develop.
Unseen it grows, encased, embalmed,
Till, no longer containable.
The husk bursts,
Is blown away on the winds of time.
What has been born within
A caterpillar trudges its weary way surrounded by dirt, trash, sordid hypodermic needles, and discarded condoms (relics of discarded loves). It searches for some forest glade where man’s debris is less abundant. Even there it is surrounded by decay, last years leaves, fungi and ever, where ever it roams, it must watch for predators swooping from nowhere to devour. The caterpillar is reconciled to such a life, encompassed by dirt, it becomes dirty.
Things worsen, encased in darkness it becomes paralyzed, trapped. All this struggle, the constant forage for food, the narrow escapes, the dreary day to day trudge, all to end this way?
Then “one day”, one blessed day, everything changes. The caterpillar is reborn. It breaks forth of its confines, a new creature, no more of earth but of the sky. Dirt and ugliness are transformed to beauty as it rises on new formed wings. It no longer deals in dirt but in clouds. It soars, high above the debris, still seeing yet distanced, to a place it can spot those birds coming. No longer encased in decay it embraces the sky.
We need not wait on death for this transformation.; today can be our “one day”.
This statement is so profound one has to let it really sink in. It just makes sense of everything. Where love is, there is God, where God is there is love. It makes no difference the race, the religion, the theology, if there is love there is God too, if there is no love the laws, the doctrines, the works are no more than husks.
“God is a spirit” and “God is love.” This speaks of real love of course the kind that is more concerned with another than itself (not the selfish possession of another Hollywood can tend to hoist on us sometimes.) Love, pure, unconditional, sacrificial love, a touch of God’s spirit, the confirmation of our being made in His image. We know how to love and be loved. We don’t learn it. Babies just love, small children love and need love to thrive.
He could have been a God of war, of power, of justice and legality instead He is love and as His children we are blessed.
When confronted by the statement, “I don’t believe in God”. I ask, “Do you believe in love?” and smile to myself.
“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die. … If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.”
—Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), Spanish nun, mystic, and writer
Even if not a believer it is a profound truth of life that what we are becoming is far more important than where we are going or what we are achieving.
I’ve found some of the toughest times in life have softened and molded my character transforming the arrogance and pride of my youth to more patience and compassion.
On stating that a very opinionated and argumentative family member reminded me of myself at that age. My youngest daughter, bless her heart, said, “but mum I can’t imagine you ever being like that.” I laughed, and said you’d never believe how much “tenderizing” it took to get me this far!
The secret of contentment in old age is being at peace with yourself, liking who you have become (even if we are none of us perfect.) No great achievement can satisfy if we cannot look to our heart with the peace of surrender.