March 16, 2010
Several weeks ago my little two-year-old daughter was playing with her toys and decided to strap on her butterfly wings. She was having a pretty good time for a while, until she got further down in the toy box and found her purple superhero cape. She wanted to put it on. When my husband tried to convince her to take off the wings, she refused. So he Velcroed the cape on right over the wings. It was awkward. She yanked on it for a while to keep it from being so jagged, but she looked like a crooked purple hunchback. She tried to go with it for as long as she could, but pretty soon she flew back over to us and uttered a very profound truth. I only wish I could remember her exact toddler jargon for this. But essentially, she said, "No cape. Alrey butterfly."
Think about it. You don't need a cape if you're already a butterfly! The moment I heard her say it, I knew it meant something. But it has taken a little bit of time for the meaning to unfold for me. I spend a lot of time—too much time, really—trying to fit into a cape. I see my neighbor in a beautiful cape, making incredible gourmet dinners with vegetables from her backyard. It's usually on a day I hardly had time to pick up a pizza. I see songwriting friends writing songs I truly wish I had written. They're so good. I see their capes billowing in the wind. I go to the mall to try to find something that can make me look amazing—and then I notice the ridiculous price tag. Capes I can't afford. I get discouraged.
All the while, I don't remember that I have wings! I have my own set of gifts. My own list of things I do best. If I paid better attention, I might notice some of those superhero ladies admiring my wings, even wishing for them.
Is being a butterfly better than being a superhero? Not necessarily. But is a superhero better than a butterfly? I'd say not. I have to admit that most of the time I feel more like a caterpillar than a butterfly. But I'm starting to remember more often that I really do have wings. I want to use them to do what they're best at, and fill this world with the things that only I can give. I want to quit trying so hard to be someone else. Easier said than done, I know.
I have lots of superheroes in my life, and I'm so grateful for them. I will always try to be more like them. But I'll try to do it in my own special butterfly way, because that's who I am. And I get the feeling that God loves butterflies quite a lot.
-Cheri Call 6/09