The Blue Morpho Butterfly is one example of Brazil’s many beautiful creatures. Dead ones are spread out and pinned under glass covers to be sold to tourists. But recently I was lucky to see a live one flitting through the forest as we visited a nearby waterfall. When I asked my companions its name in Portuguese I was surprised and confused when they replied, “Mariposa” (which means moth). The gorgeous metallic blue of its wings was as un-moth-like as could be imagined. Suddenly the butterfly landed on the path and closed its wings. Like a candle being snuffed out, the brilliant colors vanished. In an instant it became brown and ugly and “invisible.”
Sometimes I worry that Christians (who should stand out in the culture for their love and fervor) are like colorless moths blending into their background. Worse yet, they “shine” only in their own congregations where they show up for every meeting, but do little outside the church to reach lost people. They are like dead insects displayed beautifully under protective glass, hiding their light under a bushel. Matthew 5:16 reminds us to let our brilliant colors show, but not for our own benefit. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deed and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Lord, help us to be butterflies who draw attention to Your beauty and Your glory.