A Purple Butterfly

“For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.” Psalm 9:18

I once knew a woman named Jane, who had a painfully difficult cross to carry. She suffered deeply. Jane was a very needy person who stood out as being disparately different. Her appearance was unattractive with unkempt hair, bad breath, and dirty fingernails and old clothing. The odd woman was poor and homeless going from house to house only to find temporary shelter. Poor thing she possessed very few things, a Bible, an old lap top computer, a couple of pieces of clothing and an old beat up car.

I met Jane at a Bible study. Some days I would read the Bible to her reaffirming to her God would supply her needs. After several meetings, she expressed her loneliness, and how she’d gone through life all alone. Day by day she tolerated a life full disappointment and discouragement–she needed hope.

As our relationship developed I learned Jane had a record of felons against her. This made it impossible for her to find work. The consequential results brought ridiculed, judgment and she was scorned by society. Many consider her an outcast – but not in God’s eyes. In spite of her standing with the outside world, She faithfully attended church where she was slowly becoming strengthened. Although she bore many years of unending guilt and shame it only lasted until she came to know the truth—that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Her sins had been wash away…never to be remembered again. As unlovely, as she was on the outside, I could see a glimpse of light in her eyes, the light of knowing she was loved and accepted by God. Belonging to Jesus she found a place of comfort in His arms where she could lay down her burden.

One special day, I was given an opportunity to brighten Jane’s world. I rand into her at Target. I began to talk to her and she was listening and staring very intently at me. When I finished talking she commented on how beautiful my necklace was. I was wearing a purple butterfly that had sparks of rhinestone. Tenderly, I was moved by compassion knowing the next day was Mother’s Day. Spontaneously, I took off the necklace and began to put it on her. No! That’s okay…she said as she pulled back, but I persisted in enclosing it around her neck until it clasped securely together. I felt she needed validation of acceptance! I started to reassure her of how much God loved her and how beautiful she was in His eyes. Humbly, she bowed her head low to the ground. Slowly she looked up at me as our eyes met then I could see tears in her eyes. Her tears moved my spirit as I wondered how many Mother’s Day she was given no recognition with little to no joy. Those in her world were short on love. Slowly, I felt her spirit-stirring and began to lift as we continue to talk. Then she thanked me. Soon we said our good-byes and she walked out the door.

As I drove home I thought about how much I enjoyed the necklace. It didn’t compare to the lift in her countenance when I put it on her. I thought about how little she owned and how it made her very happy. It was a small token – an opportune time to show a random act of kindness. Her joy overwhelmed me with a sense of peace. I thought, “Isn’t it something how a small gift and little reminder of God’s love can bring a sparkle of hope into someone’s eyes who has suffered so much?”

In Spite of her troubled afflictions her hope was embraced in God love, she only needed a small reminder.

It took only a moment to set aflame His love.

Sweet Jesus, infuse your love in me as a fragrance to spread You love everywhere I go so that my life may be a sweet radiance of Your love. Let Your love shine on those around me with a sympathetic influences which illumines who You are. Amen.

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