Thursday, November 2

Like the monarchs I just knew that we could fly

When I was invited to a costume party two days before Halloween I immediately began casting about for costume ideas. A few easy ones were eliminated when I realized that most of my winter clothes are at my parents’ house. Martha Stewart's instructions for making butterfly wings looked easy and fun, but neither Michael's or Target yielded crepe paper of any kind. "Okay," I thought. "I'll just paint the wings on brown wrapping paper." But the wire frame I constructed couldn't support the weight of the painted paper. The wings were beautiful but not functional. Unfortunately I realized this too late in the game for the perfectionist art major in me to give up and go to the party without a costume (the perfectionist art major is a stubborn and prideful girl). I am ashamed to admit that as my friends left for the party, I refused to go and instead began rummaging around the house for some way to make the wings work. I decided to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality and duct-tape bamboo skewers to one side. With this supporting frame in place, the wings held their shape perfectly. I added ribbon arm straps and was out the door.

Now the wings are hanging on my wall, serving well as a reminder of my own sinfulness and God’s love in spite of it. It’s a beautiful and painful thing to be smacked upside the head with your sin. He turned around my plans to show off, humbling me and reminding me to be thankful for friends who will put up with me even when I’m being ridiculous. I’m much like the wings—they’re really a big mess, held together with duct tape, wire sticking out of one side and staples showing—but there’s an amazing pattern (simplified monarch butterfly) that God designed.

Since I made the wings, references to them are popping up everywhere. Yesterday another blogger wrote, "I drove by a lot of trick-or-treaters to and from Wal-Mart. My informal research seemed to show that butterflies were the “it” costume for girls this year." So I was an it girl and didn’t even know it! My dad sent me this link to a review of a Sufjan Stevens show in Philadelphia. Evidently Sufjan and his band all wore wings! You can see pictures (and read a review of the same show from someone more familiar with his work here. Some might think Stevens takes himself too seriously. Wings? Come on! These people have obviously never worn wings themselves, or they would know how much fun it is.

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