You have likely heard some version of this story about a butterfly, from Nikos Kazantzakis’ book Zorba the Greek. Zorba’s friend comes across a cocoon, just as the butterfly was making a hole to prepare to get out. He waited a while, but became impatient, and so leaning over, he blew his warm breath on the cocoon. It worked; the miracle unfolded faster than life. The beautiful butterfly crawled out, but its wings remained folded, crumpled and useless They had not been given the chance to strengthen by the struggle . . . by the God-designed, necessary process.
When we find ourselves in a “cocoon” of waiting, between some type of loss/death and the new life God wills to call forth in us, we are experiencing the work of Holy Saturday — that no-man’s-land day we often skip over during Easter weekend. Squeezed between the Cross and the Raising, it is unfortunate that we are more mindful of rushing around on Easter Saturday for decorations and groceries than we are on the miraculous transformation at work in the dark tomb during this sacred day between.
Holy Saturday’s important lesson is in the challenge of waiting —not just between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday – but any time God seems to have gone silent. We understand the quintessential struggle of Easter Saturday when we have experienced a personal Good Friday tragedy and wonder when our own Easter triumph will ever come. It is during these times that we must lean into what we know to be true: Jesus rose from the dead after a time of waiting in darkness. We can thereby rest assured that our living Lord and Savior understands our struggles during a “cocoon” time. The mystery and the hope result from waiting for God’s sacred work to be accomplished in us . . . not pushing the transformation process . . . not manipulating it to avoid the suffering or the necessary struggle at the expense of the strengthening.
So, don’t blow on your butterfly; God’s design for your sure transformation is worth the wait. And on this Holy Saturday, pause and give thanks for God’s gift of a Savior who understands that resurrection is not to be rushed.
Soul Care Ministries: Crossing Life’s Thresholds Together
Carol Potochney, Director
[adapted from a sermon by Rev. Albert A. Smith]