The Cruel Edges Of The World

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photo (21)As I pulled out of the parking lot of my school the other day, I noticed a beautiful butterfly hanging on for dear life on top of the mirror of the passenger side of my car. I may not notice much in this life, but I usually tend to notice little things like this. Why? I really have no idea. But maybe noticing little things like this, is a way God wants me to see things in a whole different light. Things that may seem insignificant, yet have a message.

I eased out of the parking lot, drove past the small part of the cemetery and that little fella was hanging on so tight, he looked like a “wing-walker” balancing himself on a stunt plane high in the sky! I made it past the subdivision, then to the end of the road. I took a right and pulled over onto a safe place off the road. I wanted to take a picture of this stubborn butterfly!

He stretched his wings out when I stopped, but didn’t fly off right away. It was as if he knew I wanted him to pose. He closed his wings back up a few times and straightened them back out again. He did this a few more times, then he took off.

I’m not sure this butterfly was really enjoying a joy ride that I thought I was giving him. It looked as if he was just trying to survive. He was holding on “tooth and toenail” as the old saying goes.

Immediately a verse from Hebrews came to mind. This butterfly hanging on for dear life to my mirror was an image that describes “the people of faith” from the Old Testament. The “great hall of faith” describes Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab and others as “people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. They were homesick, they could have gone back, but they were after a far better country – heaven country.” Hebrews 11:13-16 MSG

This passage continues naming other “hall of faith-ers.” (I realize ‘faith-ers’ is not a word, but I like it and maybe it should be?)

“Gideon, Barak, Samson, (don’t you just love the faith story of this big guy!) Jephthah, David,(and you have to love the faith story of King David!) Samuel, the prophets…Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies.” Hebrews 11:32-35 MSG

The verses go on to tell how these “hall of faith-ers” were abused, whipped, stoned, sawed in two, murdered, homeless, friendless, powerless – the world didn’t deserve them.

“Making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.” Hebrews 11: 38 MSG

That’s it! The verse I’m referring to. I don’t know why, but I think of it often when I am facing a hard time or crises in my life. There was just something about seeing this butterfly hanging on that brought this verse to my mind.

I doubt any of us will ever come up against what these mighty men and women of faith encountered. But, we have plenty of troubles and heartaches, and tough times in our lives don’t we? And sometimes don’t you just feel like you are trying to make your way the best that you can on the cruel edges of this world?

But one thing is for certain…we are not alone as we are hanging on.

“God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what, who or what can get to me?” Hebrews 13:6 MSG



1 Comment

  1. Your post got me thinking about so many things: lots of good reminders and lessons! 1) I too notice all the details. I find that this trait also carries over to relationships and helps me to connect with that person faster and to dig deeper so that we have a meaningful conversation. It’s a good thing! 2) I like to think that the Book of Life is a list of hall of “faith-ers” that transcends time to include us, the “newer” (as compared to the patriarchs) saints. Our name is listed, only first name needed, along with our victory of faith! 3) Hebrews 11 has an example of faith that I so much want to emulate in my life: Hebrews 11:21 (NIV) “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” Jacob’s last act in this life was to bless the people God placed in his life and to worship God, the giver of all good gifts! Wow, that is the type of faith that I desire!

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