as her wings melt into the night
beautiful living is her dying
beautiful dying is her living
The Story of the Luna Moth
As I prepared dessert, the day cooled itself into a summer night. I was alone as family and guests entertained themselves out by the fire. There was a window between them and I. Honestly, I felt a bit lonely and a little sorry for myself for a few minutes, isolated from the fun to complete the task.
But things changed when the Luna Moth landed on the window screen. My daughter had pointed her out to me and ran back to the fun. The fire crackled behind its large white-green wings and the laughter and talking from the others dimmed down. I had never seen one before, and I knew I was in the presence of something special.
In this rare moment, I felt God was gathering my attention away from the crowd, the fun, the laughter, the hurt, the worries, the mental calculations of relationships, and calling me to his rare beauty … the Luna Moth under the light of the moon. Suddenly, being alone and isolated from the crowd was a pleasure. I was transfixed and in awe; I held my breath almost so she would stay longer.
OUR TIME TOGETHER:
Beauty & Presence
In God’s mercy, he pulls us away from the crowd to speak to our hearts. That night in the kitchen, He knew I needed His presence, especially as I look back in hindsight and all that was swirling around me. He was choosing to carve out precious time with me and reveal Himself to me in that moment. I am so thankful for His coming to me, on His own accord, and in His great mercy. He didn’t have to show up that night.
I am not saying God showed up to me AS the Luna Moth — so mark that off your checklist of rebuttals. But, God’s presence was asking me, “Will you lay down everything else just for a few moments?”
He was calling me to experience His beauty and presence and dive into the mystery of who He is. He was whispering to my heart: “Spend time in MY beauty and presence, dive into the mystery of all I AM. Dance with me for just a few minutes. Let the worries drip away. All of that other stuff outside is not as important as OUR TIME TOGETHER in this moment.”
It sounds like a love story, because it is.
We are alive within mystery, by miracle. We have more than we can know. We know more than we can say. - Wendell Berry
The TWO-Sided Relationship
Purposeful Heart – Getting Back to the Original Task
Think of Jesus who would separate himself from the crowd and his disciples to go up on the mountain to pray. He was purposeful. He tries to purposely separate himself from the crowd to spend time alone with God. Life happens and you can see he is diverted temporarily:
When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Moved with compassion, he continues to meet peoples’ needs and feeds the 5,000 here. My children may run into this room right now in this moment and need a snack. I’m not Jesus, I’m just saying, there are distractions! After the task is complete, the need is met, Jesus then picks up on his original task and makes arrangements to get away with God again:
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.
God comes to us, the Luna Moth visits, but it is not a one-sided relationship. We can come to Him and ask for a dance, a conversation, peace.
Looking at the Luna Moth
It is incredible and mentally daunting to me that the Luna Moth emerges from its cocoon without a mouth. Why would God create a critter that isn’t made with a mouth? She is completely unable to sustain herself. She has a limited time on earth. Unable to eat, she will only live about one week’s time. She, however, is incredibly beautiful and can have a staggering wingspan of 3-4 inches!
Have you ever been asked to be like the Luna Moth?
- Silent. There is no complaining, explaining, blaming, or making yourself look better with words.
- There is no consuming or feeding or providing for yourself.
- There is only relying on Him and what He has promised you.
- Being okay with the amount of time He has given you on this earth.
- Showing up as you are — not to gain anything in particular.
- BEING IS YOUR GIVING and your enjoyment.
What we know matters, but who we are matters more. Being rather than knowing requires showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It requires us to dare greatly and be vulnerable. - Brene' Brown, Daring Greatly
The Luna showed herself to me that night. That’s all she had to do to make an impact. She was herself; there was no striving, no proving of herself. No goal to gain; she was just herself.
Faithful in Our Frailty?
It begs the question, can God be faithful in our frailty? Will He provide during our times of lack? Although the lack remains, does He sustain us in other ways during that time? I want to say, “Yes” because of my own experiences and I want to say, “Yes”, to encourage you.
When Lack Remains
Sometimes our period of lack remains: our loved one still has cancer and will still see death, the uncertainty of a hurting relationship, the job that has still not come through, and the list goes on of varying circumstances. Things happen in life that we cannot stop. The world is not always a nice place. There is still sin in people’s lives, temptation in our own hearts, disease, misfortune, and eventual death (even if it’s just due to old age). These things come and go whether we believe in God or not.
Yet, if we open our hearts, these are the moments that God can still show us his faithfulness and hold our hand in the midst of life’s painful circumstances. Sometimes he comforts us and provides for us in a soul-enriching way that goes beyond the immediate, earthly lack. As we remain open-handed and willing to be flexible, he may also provide for the earthly lack in a way we could never have calculated; in ways that are full of grace, peace, and goodness.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
We must train ourselves to see this unique provision and receive it with thankful hearts. He sustains our souls during the very difficult times of life. If he is faithful in all He does and provides for me during the ups and downs of living this crazy life, I believe:
…God will be there to cup our souls, in the birth of our dying as well.
DEDICATED TO NATASHA N. ROBINSON & KIMBERLY MOORE
Usually I journal out personal feelings and situations that gel into something concrete for a post. I started writing out about the Luna Moth experience and drew out a rough sketch.
Google Out Images
I google out images that I like and might work. Here is a beautiful Luna Moth image. I’m sorry, I don’t remember the exact reference.
I take the best image that I think will work for the piece (looking at angle, etc.) into Illustrator and I start laying points for the different shapes, filling in with matching colors. I place the final vector artwork onto a web-sized Photoshop document and go to town, experimenting with some great art brushes from Kyle T. Webster to create the night-scene.