This week I’ve been thinking about butterflies. Maybe you already know, but monarch butterflies have been declared endangered (here’s an article from NPR about this sad development).* There is milkweed outside my office window at church and every year I get to watch butterflies come and go throughout the summer. It’s just lovely.
Butterflies are not specifically named in the Bible, but they have long been considered a Christian symbol. Of course this is due to the natural process of metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly being compared to Christ’s death and resurrection. We can contemplate Christ emerging from the darkness of the tomb to the glory of resurrection as the caterpillar emerges from the darkness of the cocoon to become the butterfly. Butterflies are a powerful symbol of transformation. But even if their symbolism wasn’t so remarkable, butterflies are still part of God’s good creation.
It felt important to put monarch butterflies being declared endangered on our radars this week as we all may be out and about in the natural world more so during the summer. We can help monarch butterflies survive by preserving and even creating more monarch habitats. As Conservation Biologist Karen Oberhauser shared in the NPR interview, “I would encourage people to figure out what are the native milkweed species in their area and plant as many of them as they can. And the other thing that’s key is nectar plants because the adults drink nectar from many species of flowers. And finally, people should not use pesticides because insecticides will kill not only harmful insects but butterflies and bees and good ones as well.”
The beauty of monarch butterflies that we can help preserve—just something to think about this week.
*”Monarch Butterflies have been declared endangered. What can we do to save them”, NPR, July 24, 2022, https://www.npr.org/2022/07/24/1113257892/monarch-butterflies-have-been-declared-endangered-what-can-we-do-to-save-them
Thursday Thoughts 7/28/22