Lisa and I took our much-needed weekend and went to a nearby city, Moncton. We took our daughter Casile and a young woman who’s staying with us right now… Melissa. We had a wonderful time. I didn’t take my computer. I still can’t believe it, since my computer plays a pretty major role in my life with blogging, my writing, cartooning, my art on ebay, and keeping in touch with all in my sphere through facebook. It gave me space to just enjoy life and love. I also did some important thinking.
I had an experience at once surprising and profound. We bought tickets into Butterfly World. I just thought it would be interesting to see some butterflies. We bought our tickets and entered the climate-controlled spherical building, filled with vegetation, water fountains, and of course, butterflies. Hundreds of them! The astounding array of colors and sizes and flight patterns and behaviors absolutely floored me. I immediately started crying. I admit it. I was embarrassed so I kept pretty much to myself. Lisa found me sitting on a bench, my eyes filled with tears and my heart ready to burst. I can’t explain why it happened except that I was in love with these gentle creatures and their profound and simple beauty, but also their incredible transformation. They flew all around me, landed on me, and filled my eyes with childlike wonder. It was one of the most emotional and spiritual moments I can remember having.
My mind was filled with the urgency of change. The wonder of transformation. The beauty of a new creation. The magnificence of metamorphosis. There were some caterpillars and chrysalides hanging in a special chamber. How do those turn into these? From these crawling helpless or dead-looking things to these free-flying beautiful creatures. I look for this same thing in my own life, the life of those I love, and all the people of the world. I look for this in my church and the whole church. I know what I say is offensive to many people. But I’m tired of painting the old with new paint, of gluing fake wings on the old shell, of rearranging the parts to a more interesting looking but mangled corpse. It’s time for new life! Liberation now!
I decided to come back and be more naked, more blunt, more honest, and more direct. I’m not telling anybody to do anything. I don’t condemn anyone. I just want to be clear: I think I know a way to prevent pastors from burning out. I think I know a way for people to gather with authenticity and joy. I think I know a way to prevent churches from becoming dead reminders. I think I know a way for us to be free, and free indeed. So stay tuned.
The fine art photograph was taken by my daughter Casile (right) and is of her and her friend Emily.