A Surprise Visit by Elizabeth Sterling


Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ. Yet many people dread the holidays and especially how hectic things can get. I really tried to avoid becoming caught up in the holiday frenzy by keeping things simple. Even though on a personal level I did keep things simple, I didn’t buy a lot of Christmas presents. I usually make holiday breads for EVERYONE, but I abandoned that this year. And I wanted to make my own Christmas cards this year, but I gave up on that idea too. But nevertheless right around the middle of December I became really stressed out because that was an incredibly busy time for the Blue Butterfly Fund. And there were some really exciting things happening too.

One evening I was driving home from work really stressing about how I was going to get everything done. My drive home was taking much longer than normal because it was snowing like crazy. And I remember asking God to help me find the way to make everything work. This not an uncommon prayer for me, and I imagine that God must laugh at the things I find overwhelming. I finally got home and got right to work getting BBF work started. And then it happened.

John walked in the room, carrying a tiny yellow butterfly on his hand. He said, “Look who came to visit.” I looked at the little butterfly and said, “Hey, what are you doing here now?” But because I was so caught up in my “important work,” I just went back to work (this kind of astonishes me now). I was amazed at how easy everything was going, and then received an email that we would have a 2-hour delay in the morning due to the snow. Ah, more time…the thing I craved the most. I was just finishing up my work and got up to go to the other room, and John said, “Hey, did you know that butterfly is sitting on your back?”

Then everything sunk in. It was the middle of December and snow was falling like crazy. And I had a butterfly on my back. Just about the moment, I realized this was a gift from God to send me this visitor; the butterfly flew up into the light in our kitchen and disappeared somewhere in the ceiling. That happens sometimes, when I finally get it with my mind the spirit leaves. I thought I would never see it again.

But I did. I tried to feed it. I had just watched a movie that showed an entomologist luring butterflies with fruit smashed up in liqueur. So I smashed up some berries in water and the butterfly ate some, but it fell in it and got syrup all over its pretty yellow wing. The butterfly stayed around a few more days before it died. Nevertheless I was grateful for the brief miracle visit I had with this butterfly and knew it was a sign that God is always listening always ready pick me up when I need it most.


“God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.” -Psalm 46:1


This is a repeat, but given the message of this blessing, I had to share it again.

The Butterfly of Hope

The Grace of the butterfly
lifts my heart
Is it practical?
no, but it is perfect
perfect in God’s plan
the Holy Spirit moves
through the wings of
the butterfly
and the butterfly
brings HOPE to the most needy soul

-E.S. (10.15.2003)

This was written a month before Bennett died. How did I know how important butterflies would be for MY most needy soul?


Great Helper, I give you thanks for all the ways you help me find the light. I give you thanks for the wings you send to lift my spirits and give me HOPE. Thank you for the butterfly. With love for you Lord, I say Amen.


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