During February my husband and I visited family in Kenya. Together we stayed in the rainforest famous for its wonderful butterflies. This one caught my eye, basking in the warmth of the sun, with its back studded with ‘jewels’ glistening in the sunlight. With our grandsons, we marvelled at how it had changed from a very hungry caterpillar, through the chrysalis stage to become a beautiful butterfly. It had to go through all the stages, it couldn’t skip the time ‘cocooned’, hidden and transforming inside the chrysalis waiting for the right moment to emerge into the sunlight.
On the night before he died, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, in great distress prayed: “‘Abba’, Father, for you all things are possible; removed this cup (of suffering) from me; yet not what I want, but what you want.” He agonised, realised there were no shortcuts. He accepted the path ordained for him, to die a terrible death but to rise again on the third day, overcoming death for ever. His Spirit is with us today in these times of great uncertainty, to comfort and support us.
Today many of us are playing a waiting game, cocooned in our homes, others are working incredibly hard to care for us and save lives. We don’t know what the future holds. Maybe you are thinking, like me: ‘If only we could skip the next few months, take a shortcut and emerge into the summer sunshine, omitting this stressful time’. But we can’t. Like Jesus we have to go through it, but he is with us, as St Paul wrote at the end of Romans chapter 8: ‘I am convinced that neither death nor life…nor things present, nor things to come…nor anything else in all creation (including COVID-19), will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
Hazel Buckland, Lay Reader, St Peter’s Church, Peter Tavy