I came out of self-isolation last Friday, looking forward to resuming my normal rhythm of life, especially meeting up with friends. However, on Saturday we discovered that my husband had brought back a Covid infection from his holidays. So we have started another "dance" around our house, trying to avoid being in the same vicinity in close proximity to avoid re-infection.
In the light of current world events, these are very minor inconveniences. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like for people in the Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar, North Korea, Nigeria or other parts of the world where people are stuck in life-threatening situations because of their gender, race, religion, political views or any host of factors.
While I was praying about our vulnerability, I was reminded of a photo I had taken many years ago. The butterfly appeared to be imprisoned in its chrysalis and had no wiggle room. Its prospects looked hopeless, yet moments after I took the initial image, the cocoon burst open. After a bit of a struggle, the butterfly broke free, spread its wings and left its chrysalis behind. If anyone had tried to help the process and cut open the chrysalis, the butterfly would have perished.
The event reminds me that transformation and change cannot be rushed. There are different stages to go through; they can be painfully slow, but no stage lasts forever. It takes discernment to know whether, when and how to act.
I have found it helpful to use the serenity prayer as I pray about my own, national and international affairs. I long to see many healthy "butterflies" emerging. We need signs of hope and life in this present darkness.