Sitting here at my drawing desk, which I intentionally placed in front of the window for the view of my backyard, is where I seem to do my best ponderings. As I bask in the enjoyment that we just experienced at our last paint party, I was already thinking about the suggestion that was made – “let’s paint butterflies!” I love the group of ladies that come to our paint parties for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is how they encourage each other. Some of them have been painting together from our very first party a year or so ago, but others have joined in a party here and there. The newbies are always welcomed into the group by all. They leave no longer a newbie but part of the family. The goal is not to become the next Vincent van Gogh, the goal is to leave having experienced a connection, a sense of belonging, a greater spark of joy.
To say I was ecstatic when one of the ladies suggested we paint butterflies on glass for our party in May would be an understatement. It takes only the slightest glance around the ‘barn’ to realize my obsession with this beautiful creation. As I’m sitting here pondering, my eyes follow the flight of one of these brightly colored beauties as it goes by my window. Then, my eyes fall on another familiar view. My grandson and my bottle-fed calf, Duchess, are playing in the backyard. I can hear his laughter as he does something resembling one of his football moves, those moves I’ve witnessed many times over the years. He and Duchess go back and forth chasing each other. A boy and a calf playing together is not an everyday sight to some, but their bond is something we see here daily. This boy and this calf have learned to trust each other. When my grandson decided he wanted to go to 4H camp this summer, his parents gave him the responsibility of raising half the fees himself. Hence his new responsibility, taking care of the evening farm feedings. Duchess has learned that this loud, rowdy, big-hearted boy will not only be bringing her supper, but he will also take the time to spend with her. Whether it is raining, cold, or beautiful weather her needs are met. He is not only providing for her, but he is also taking the time to show her that she is important. We could all use people like that in our lives, but it takes work from all parties involved.
To build strong relationships, we need to invest time in others – even when it’s not convenient. Jesus modeled true friendship by being involved in his disciples’ daily lives. The busiest one of all did not wait till his ‘to-do list’ was checked off to be available to his disciples (spoiler alert: we are all his disciples) He met them where they were. God created us for relationships. He gave us the gift of each other. Do you think the group of friends in Mark 2 of the Bible waited until it was convenient to hoist the paralyzed man up onto a roof and lower him down for Jesus to heal? That took some time and thought. That took investing in someone other than themselves, whether it was convenient or not. Jesus healed that man because of his friend’s faith. Let’s all strive to make a difference in each other’s lives. A butterfly symbolizes spiritual birth, transformation, change, hope, and life. When you invest in others, you will see those very things not only in their lives but yours.
By: Donna Worsham