Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Emerging... But Not Quite Yet

A few weeks ago, we ordered some caterpillar larvae from an online source. We've watched as the five larvae began to move around, growing bigger and bigger. We watched them climb to the top of the container and attach themselves. We've watched as each of the five, one by one, transformed from a fuzzy caterpillar into a hardened chrysalis.

Every Tuesday, we've brought our container in to LilBro's preschool class, so they, too, could observe the changes.

Last week, I took the thin paper shell out of the container and pinned it inside our butterfly garden.

Our observation has become more anxious. Every day, sometimes often throughout the day, we find ourselves checking the butterfly garden.

Have any butterflies emerged yet? Are any about the burst forth?

Not yet.

LilBro exclaimed again this morning, "Ohhhhh. No butterflies again! Still chrysalids!"

I can relate. We all know how this story is going to end... in the most beautiful and life-affirming way possible: with the emergence of 5 Painted Lady butterflies. Right now, the waiting seems interminable.

We know how this Lent will end... in the most beautiful and life-affirming way possible: with the resurrection of Jesus, and the end to death as we know it.

But we are not quite there yet. We have a little more night left before the dawn breaks upon us. Tonight, we begin this final trek through the darkness with Tenebrae, where we hear psalms and readings amidst the gradual extinguishing of candles. Finally, we are left in a darkened church, with just a single candle. Our silence is broken by a loud noise, the strepitus, signifying the earthquake at the moment of Jesus' death.

Tomorrow, we enter the Triduum, the deepest, darkest part of Lent. Can you almost feel the hardened form of the chrysalis closing around you? Are you willing to delve deeply into the dark, into the Passion, so that you, too, may emerge a new creation?

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