Field Time with Jesus
“Journey to my Heart with Jesus” is filled with lessons God taught me as I battled with my past and learned to accept my illness. Much of those conversations and teaching times happened in a field beside my house that became a special meeting place between us. The following is a journal entry that was not included in the book. It occurred about two years into seeing my counselor.
While we had finally reached the point where working through my past no longer threw me into a total denial of God’s existence or put me in a state of such anger that I wanted nothing to do with God—it would still mess with my relationship with Him to some degree. So, when Sherril and I began to deal with my past abuse at a deeper level, I found myself not “wanting” to sit down with Him, or not able to hear Him when I did. When I finally became serious and asked Him what was up with that, He gave me a beautiful analogy that I cherish and am reminded of each time I see the small yellow butterflies that live around our home…
Lord, my soul has been so restless lately. I could not pinpoint any one thing—but I just couldn’t settle down and find peace. Praying was hard and nothing seemed to satisfy me.
I kept asking you, “What happened? Where did that amazing, bone-deep peace go? Why am I having so much trouble concentrating when I come to you?”
I couldn’t be still before you, because the time went by in agony and I would finally give up because I could not still my thoughts at all.
“I know you are there, Lord, so why can’t I connect?” I knew I couldn’t force the connection between us. The graces I receive in prayer are all from you and I cannot will them to happen or do anything that affects our time together. You speak when you speak. But, I couldn’t even desire it as I used to. Other things pulled me away—“busyness” things that weren’t even important. It seemed the more I tried to force myself to sit and read the Bible or pray, the more restless I got.
Then I went out to the field and just sat…and I could feel you there. No major “conversation” took place—just communion. After a time I rose up to leave and two yellow butterflies were suddenly flying together right in front of me. Their flight was intricate and beautiful and I was enthralled with the wonder of it as I watched.
You spoke: “It is you and me child; our dance is like this. It is intricate, beautiful and wonderful. You see how the one butterfly seems to be leading the other? I lead you in the dance of our relationship.”
I watched as the two danced together: sometimes almost seeming to become one, sometimes flying a little further apart. Suddenly they flew higher…and higher…and higher.
“Is the one butterfly taking the other one to heaven Lord?” I asked.
I watched as they continued their dance, ever higher and higher. Then, just as I thought they were about to fly beyond my ability to see them, the lead butterfly seemed to release the other to float ever so softly towards the earth.
At first I thought it might actually be dead because I saw no activity from it as it continued to fall. It was about 3 feet from the ground when it suddenly started flying around gracefully. I then became aware of yellow butterflies all around me. These others were all flitting along wildly about 7 inches off the ground, though, in a frantic and seemingly meaningless flight that was tiring to watch, while the butterfly that had left the ascending dance was flying beautifully three feet off the ground. If a butterfly could exude happiness and grace—this one was.
“See how it works, child? I lead you in the dance. We commune: sometimes almost as one, sometimes a little further apart. It feeds you. You learn, see, and hear things from me and you grow and learn to fly in a way the world cannot copy. Afterwards, when I release you to fall back, you fly in a new way. That butterfly is flying ‘in the world but not of the world.’ My children fly between the world and the spiritual reality they glimpse when they spend time with me. Because of their time with me—they fly higher. They fly differently. They fly with purpose, beauty, and grace because they have been redeemed from the world. That butterfly no longer wants to fly 7 inches off the ground, living and flitting in a meaningless existence. That butterfly has danced the dance with the master and is no longer content to fly as the others do. However, if it looks down too often or watches how the others fly, it may begin to believe that is how flight is supposed to be. It will forget the lessons it learned from the dance, the things it saw, the graces it received—and before long it is flying closer and closer to the ground. Stay in my Word, stay in your prayers, and do not forget what you have seen and heard—because the ground has a mighty pull and a strong voice. The flight of those other butterflies is indeed exhausting and meaningless, and is not meant for you.”
And the peace started to return. I could feel your presence again.