Welcome to my second installment from the "Butterflies are Blooming" exhibit at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan!
Unlike our first visit at the end of the season several years ago, this time there were butterflies (plural) and they were indeed "blooming."
That being the case, you may be wondering why I took so many photos of a dull brown butterfly when there were so many bright, bold, vivid ones flitting around...
This photo gives just a hint...can you see it?
Far too often we make judgments based on first impressions.
We decide to read a book based on a glance at the cover.
We choose to purchase a product based on a thirty second commercial.
We place our order based on a picture in the menu.
We buy clothing based on what we saw in the window display.
We decide which people we're going to give the time of day to based on how they appear, or what we've heard about them.
How often do we do that - draw conclusions about someone based on some very brief and circumstantial evidence?
Or gravitate toward the well put-together, the extrovert, the flamboyant...
"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7
We're going to miss out on some great people if we make snap judgments.
I just finished taking a nutrition class, and since there were only a dozen of us I had a chance to get to know each of my classmates to various degrees. "Amy" is very gregarious and spoke with me at length while her friend "Betty" stood silently at her side. I became convicted that I wasn't making more of an effort to include "Betty" in the conversation and set out to change that.
"Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:14
I've been on the lookout for people that may have trouble connecting. Lately I've made it a point at church to introduce myself if I see a woman sitting near me that I haven't met before. I'm an introvert myself, but what better place to take a step of faith than in church!
I could have passed over that bland brown butterfly for one flashier, but I would've missed out on the biggest, bluest butterfly I've ever seen! It was absolutely gorgeous and literally as big as my hand.
I want to challenge you to speak to someone new this weekend. You may just find something beautiful when they open up!
Here's a close-up of the butterfly with its wings spread open.
Lord, I thank you for allowing me to capture a fleeting glimpse of this magnificent butterfly in flight, and thank you for the beautiful women you've allowed me to see as I've given them an invitation. Help us all to have the courage to step out of our comfort zone and invite others to open up to us.