It was approximately 32 years ago when my sister died in an accident in the desert of New Mexico. She was 17, beautiful, a believer, and very popular at school. I was in college at the time and my employer offered to pay for a plane ticket so I could be home for the funeral. After attending the funeral, filled with high-school friends and teachers, my Father and I decided to make the trip to New Mexico to salvage the truck which hadn’t been damaged much in the accident. The camper which my sister had been in had been crushed. As far as we know she died instantly. My brother was right next to her, never heard her, and miraculously made it out without more than a scratch.
On that trip, I experienced the thing closest to Hell that I ever wish to encounter. First, I’ve never been hotter or more uncomfortable. We traveled from Southern California to the wrecking yard In New Mexico where we found the truck and began the long tow home. We stopped at a little café alone in the middle of the desert. The place was packed and the little air conditioner was trying to keep up with the heat coming off of the hot bodies that had found this only oasis. After this short and helpful break, we continued on through the desert. The heat was unbearable. We stopped in the middle of the most desolate place I’ve ever experienced. There was not a living thing in sight. My Dad and I were both exhausted. As we were about to resume our trip, from out of nowhere came a beautiful butterfly. The first thing that came to mind was a question: “How did you get way out here?” It must have been the only colorful living thing for miles. I won’t go so far as say that it was a “sign from God.” But, it was a reminder. I thought of the Bible verse that said that God would never leave me or forsake me. It gave me hope.
That is why I use the butterfly.
Beautiful Chris, thanks for sharing. I can identify with the most desolate place on earth. It is 29 Palms California. It is an artillery range for the Marines. a real armpit.
You’re welcome, Manny.
I’ve been to 29 Palms but it was years ago. All I can remember was that it was very hot.
I always enjoy your comments my friend.
Thanks, Chris! I’m sorry that this sorrow was yours and your family’s. Yes, the butterfly is a kind of Creation and new Creation sign. Our Creator is so kind! Praise Him forever!
You’re welcome, Maria. Thanks for your interest.
As kindness is fruit of the Holy Spirit, I also think of God as kind and loving. He has had mercy on us and we are so undeserving. I will praise Him forever with you!
So glad you will be, Chris!
Reblogged this on Pilgrim’s Progress revisited ~ Christiana on the narrow way and commented:
God’s faithful love, from Chris…
Thank you for the reblog, Maria! I went back and reread this again myself.
God is merciful.
Indeed, He is! And someday – perhaps soon? – He shall wipe away all our tears!
Maybe soon, Indeed! That will be a glorious day!
Chickadee birds hold the same for me.
Thank you for sharing, bc. God’s creation is so amazing!
Wow my dad was just telling me years ago his car broke down in southern new mexico where there was nothing for miles…man I imagine its near where you were at; that butterfly must have been powerful to see
That is so interesting, Pastor Jim. There are car junkyards out in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico because of all the accidents there. Storms can come up quickly and heavy rains can hit pavement that hasn’t seen rain for awhile and can become very slippery. Even if the roads aren’t too bad because of recent rains, the rain can be so drenching that car tires lose their traction. In 1981, when my parents truck and camper went off of the road and turned over in a ditch, it was because of one of those storms.
I didn’t see any such storm on my short trip to New Mexico. It was continually very hot the entire time.
I can understand why you father would remember such an experience after the one I had.
And, yes, that was an amazing sight in what seemed like hell at the time.
Thank you for sharing a beautiful story of hope renewed. So sorry for the grief you had to bear but can see it has born a joy in your spirit none can take away.
You’re welcome, Donna. I was fortunate to be Julie’s “big brother” (she was really a cousin my parents took in after her parents died in a car crash when she was 6) for 11 years. She loved living with us and growing up in a large family. We would play “heart and soul” on the piano. She would play the low part and I would really get wild with the high part. The most important thing is that she loved God. My parents took us to church nearly every Sunday and Julie loved that as well. I am looking forward to seeing her again in heaven someday.
Thank you for your kind words.
I look forward to meeting you both there.
Thank you, Donna. I look forward to meeting you there as well!
Amen in JESUS ❤
So glad you saw this, Kristi Ann!