Last summer was a warm and beautiful one here in New England. The sunny days warmed the air and beckoned me outside. One of my favorite spots to journal is on the deck of our pool. It's like another world behind that gate, where I can feel connected with the quietness of my heart and listen for God's voice. On one of those warm and quiet days I dared to ask God, "What's next?" His answer came, "Abide in me." My response was, "What does that look like?" Literally, the rest of the summer God took me on a journey and taught me what abiding looks like.
The first lesson in my journey came the very next day. I was busy with daily chores and went outside to hang up the laundry. About five feet away on the lawn sat two Adirondack chairs. As I reached to hang the first sheet on the line a beautiful butterfly landed on one of the chairs. I didn't think much of it at first since I'd planted flowers in the yard to attract the butterflies. But, after a few minutes when I looked back at the chair, the butterfly was still there, quietly fluttering it's wings in the air. "That's funny" I thought to myself. "Butterflies don't usually linger that long." And in my heart I heard "Abide. Abide with me. Come spend time with me."
I put the wet sheets that were in my hand back in the laundry basket and slowly approached the empty chair next to the winged messenger from God. I sat quietly just studying this beautiful creature. It's wings were like saphire and silk framed in a black window pane frame. It was graceful, peaceful, gently fluttering it's wings back and forth and unihibited by my presence. My heart was quiet taking in all it's beauty; looking at it close up and intimately. Again I simply heard "Abide. Abide in me and I will abide in you. Come spend time with me. I am the vine and you are the branches. Please come...abide with me." The words were gently spoken pursuing me to come. When I'd heard all God had to say the butterfly flew away.
What would I have missed if I didn't put aside my busyness and take a few moments to just sit with that butterfly? I would have missed witnessing its beauty and elegance. I would have missed an intimate moment with God, as well, just stopping and listening with my heart. I would have missed his message, his first lesson in the beauty of abiding with Him.