This Side of the Chrysalis
It’s a startlingly beautiful thing, metamorphosis. Don’t you think?
Picture it: you were simple once, just meandering along, perfectly happy, soaking in life. Everything is beautiful, and you want to ingest as much of it as you possibly can. There’s a hunger that demands to be fed, and you continually drown yourself in that beauty that seems to be called for to fill it. You don’t know why the hunger’s there, you just know you have to fill it.
Then things start to change. You start to realize yourself more, look at yourself through changing eyes. Somehow you can’t stand it–you look small, ugly, twisted. Does the world see you that way? How could they see you any other way? Suddenly you want nothing more than to run and hide–you’ve never needed people before, now you don’t even want people; they’re just too threatening. If they could see you differently, maybe…but no, it’s not possible. Run. Hide. Escape them. Escape yourself.
So you build up walls. You close yourself snugly in, cut yourself off from the world and all the people in it. You can subsist on the beauty–you’ve stored up so much of it already.
And that works for awhile.
But not for long. Those walls you built? They’re half-transparent. You can sort of see the world outside, but it’s all distorted, frightening. And they’re still looking at you, except this time you know without a doubt: they’re not seeing you, they’re seeing your walls, and they’re not impressed. Just waiting for you to break out, insisting, begging. And that just makes it worse, because your strength is just about gone. All the beauty you stored up–it’s just not lasting. You’re hungering, but beauty alone won’t cut it; it’s all out there, beyond the walls. And escaping yourself? As if–you’re all alone in here with a dark, twisted view of reality; if you can’t look out, you have to look in, and you still can’t stand what you see there.
But you remember stories–stories of Someone Who was behind all that beauty, Who fed you…they say He can fill you now…that He loves you…
So you hold on. You hold on desperately to that tale you only half-believe. Oh you’re sure He’s capable of love–just not love for you. But you hold on to the words in your head, push through the doubts in your heart, and hope beyond hope that maybe He sees you, maybe He loves you, maybe He’ll get you through.
But your strength is fading fast…things are starting to go black…you’re hanging on to hope like a chrysalis to a leaf, dangling precariously. Soon your hold will break…
Then something changes. Something inside you that you can’t quite put your finger on. You have no idea how, or where, but something reached into you and started something, like a chain reaction that was just waiting for something to trigger it. The change is painful at times, soothing at others; you feel sustenance pouring out on your heart, but it’s having to break through the walls first; you start to see something else in people’s eyes, but the view is still blocked. You’re not hanging off the edge anymore, you’re hanging in the balance. It’s so odd, so indescribable, that you can’t decide if it’s good, even though it has to be better than where you were before.
Then you hear Him.
And He’s speaking love.
You can’t even get your head around it–it just doesn’t even fully register, but it blows you away, makes you cry in release until you’re utterly soaked, washing away all the tears and trash you’ve let pile up. The tears just keep coming as He keeps whispering love to you, filling up your heart. They fill up the sack until you’re nearly drowning, but still you can’t stop, because He’s still whispering, “I love you.”
The sac bursts, and suddenly you’re utterly exposed, and you feel ridiculously alive, ridiculously free. Tentatively, you look at yourself–holy crap, you’ve got WINGS!! And even though they’re still dripping with tears, they’re so gosh darn beautiful! Is this really you? Is this really what people have seen in you all along? Is this really what He sees? DANG, YOU’RE AWESOME! You jump up to fly–
and fall back to the leaf. Damn. Still need to figure out how to use those. What happened? I thought I was awesome.
Well,here’s the crazy thing, you are. You’re utterly awesome. But you’re still limited. We all are. Some of us are still caterpillars, some of us are still stuck in our chrysalises or trying to crawl back into them, some of us (me right now) are trying to learn how to use our wings, and some of us are flying but haven’t quite reached their destination yet. Regardless, we are all limited, BUT THAT DOESN’T CHANGE OUR BEAUTY. He made us, He made me, He made you AMAZING. He doesn’t make trash. Ever.
So wherever you are in the great metamorphosis of life, take courage and rejoice in the life you’ve been given, because you’re amazing, and you were born to fly home to God, who never gets tired of reminding you, “I love you.”