Artist's Lane: The caterpillar crawl


By Betty Slade

PREVIEW Columnist

The words of a beautifully penned song kept playing in my head. “Earth to God” by John Rich: “We need your light, we need your love. If ever we need a direct line to God is now, save us now in our darkest hour.”

Certainly, if there is one thing we have learned to do in 2020 it is to pray. How important a time when we truly need a direct line to God. 

There have been years where I felt like I was on a roller coaster, while others, a lazy river. But 2020 is a different beast, or bug, all together. It seems like we are experiencing the caterpillar crawl. 

Jonathan Cahn writes, “Caterpillars see with wormlike eyes, think wormlike thoughts, and live wormlike lives, but to these earthbound creatures a miracle happens … They allow themselves to die to the old, to the earthbound wormlike life and begin a metamorphosis.”

Could it be that our future holds a time of great color at unimaginable heights? From stop and go, or in most cases no go, to the whimsy of kite-like flight. 

Feet to earth, where has 2020 found us? For most, it is hunkered down, sheltered from society and kept in a dark place. Where information is streamed and where interaction requires isolation in tether. Zipping in and out the door has been replaced with Zooming in and out of a chair. 

Like the caterpillar, we are hanging onto the tree, waiting for a change. Not sure what tomorrow will look like, or if we will even recognize come what may. It sounds so bleak, unless we equally hold on to where this crawl will take us. 

Never before has sitting still moved communities beyond where they are. Friends and neighbors have joined (gloved) hands to help one another. And, while we don’t like the general topic of conversation, dialogue is taking place between strangers as they pass on the street. Has the intentional push and pull that moves us today replaced the frenzy and impatience of years past? 

Life has needed to reinvent itself. But, today’s isolation and distance are not a full stop, merely a pause as the back catches up with the front. 

Yes, it may feel like we are hanging upside down. It happens in nature all the time. Should life be any different for those with 16 feet versus those with only two?

Perhaps it is time to spin ourselves into a protective enclosure. After all, we’ve already learned how to live with the changes of isolation. Now could be the time when our hearts need to be transformed. 

We cry to rise up. We even cry for wings to fly. I’m sure I am not the only one who has cried out to heaven to see myself lifted beyond the depths where I crawl. 

If life’s journey has taught us anything, it is that time must not make haste. The monarch will only show when it is fully formed. It takes seven to 11 days for the chrysalis to turn into a butterfly. While we have been in what feels like a cocoon for 10 months, just imagine the beauty of our own transformation when we finally take flight. 

It is for certain that we won’t like all of the change that surrounds us. We never do. But, every circumstance requires wings to fly above and beyond, regardless of where we find ourselves. 

As I hear John Rich singing in my head, “save us now in our darkest hour,” I am reminded of the words of Isaiah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 

Final brushstroke: The caterpillar likely crawls through life, unaware of the purpose for which it is born. It is then transformed into an amazing creature that brings color and life to all it touches. Perhaps we need to see Christ in the chrysalis. Is it possible that 2020 is just a stage of our metamorphosis, when breaking free of our circumstance means becoming the beautiful creature of heaven’s calling?

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