Disabled or Mislabeled by Lois Macdonald

A dear friend told me recently, that a butterfly can still fly even if it has lost 75% of its wingspan. What a miracle, and yet society would most likely categorize it as being disabled. If they would take a closer look, however, I believe they would see that the butterfly had been mislabeled. Though somewhat different in appearance she can still feel, smell, hear and savor the sweetness in nectar. She continues to bathe in the warmth of the sun’s rays and loves to join her friends whenever they slow down their pace and waltz, rather than run through the fields of delicate wildflowers. Truth be told, before her accident she had hurried through most of her waking hours, forever trying to catch a glimpse of tomorrow. This pattern had left her mindlessly missing out on all of the precious moments of today. Moments lost forever!

In the blink of an eye,  anyone’s life can be turned upside down! Chronic pain or disease can move in like an uninvited house guest, leaving us facing overwhelming obstacles. We can learn to adapt and evolve like the butterfly or allow fear to keep us chained to the past. Pope John Paul 11 encourages us to,  “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I {God} am with you. Therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”

Without any warning,  a severe form of arthritis crippled my wings. Learning to fly differently was extremely challenging, humbling and at times downright scary! Miraculously, breaking out of my comfort zone has brought such a new clarity and depth to my life, that I can honestly appreciate the truth in this verse “…rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5.

Was I was able to fly higher in the past? Yes. Am I thankful to be living in the moment of today, rather than chasing after a glimpse of tomorrow? Absolutely. Now the fragrance of a fully blossomed rose and the sweetness of a babbling brook song are no longer wasted on my senses. I can feel, smell, hear and savor the sweetness of God’s love that is all around me.

Would I consider myself disabled or mislabeled?

All I can say is, “I can still fly!”

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