Friday, August 28, 2020

The Cicada and the Palm: An Angel Message

Amazing how sometimes you can "pick up"  on some fleeting detail that catches your eye, and immediately know what it represents, without knowing how, and yet you just know that you know.   It happened yesterday at lunch while discussing an old book I'd been guided to reread. Gospel Messages from the Antarctic by George Paterson.  

But when something is meant to be, you've probably noticed, that somehow it wends its way across your path.  That's how, over twenty years ago,  I discovered George Paterson's book based on a thrilling expedition to Antarctica. I was eating a sandwich in my car at a fast food place with my Mom.   I can still see the book flattened in the middle of a busy four-lane road. The motion of cars and trucks stirring its pages, giving it new life.   

I was trying to curb the urge to chase after signs, so I looked, but did not leap... until my Mom pointed it out.  "Maybe that book is a sign for you."  I laughed because it was out of character for her to talk like that.   Waiting for a break in  traffic, I ran out in the road, and grabbed the faded blue book.  All the pages were intact, but it had taken quite a beating.  Gospel Messages from the Antarctic didn't seem like a hit to me. 

At the time, my life was a challenging journey so I winced when I read the spiritual stories in the book were based on another book, "The Worst Journey in the World".  It had been written by one of the men who went with Capt. Scott in 1911 to the freezing Antarctic Continent.  

So back to yesterday's lunch, while telling Elliot about rereading Gospel Messages from the Antarctic, and hoping to find a way to create an e-book for boys and girls, my thoughts were interrupted by a sudden appearance of a wide-winged insect flying by the sun-room window. I tracked it to the palm tree.   It seemed too good to be true to see a cicada in her new form. They are heard more than seen...and sound like sleigh bells ringing in the treetops, to chill the summer heat. 

This one had broken out of her hard shell, and to my surprise, landed on a long palm leaf swaying in the breeze. She clung to the frond, and I got a glimpse of her free spirit, swinging back and forth.  Elliot couldn't see the winged creature,  so after lunch, I went to take a look, not fully trusting my intuition.  

To my delight, a  transparent lacy winged cicada was happily swinging on the long green frond, enjoying the ride. The wind kept stirring the branch, so I gently held it still to take a photo for you.    

Her newly formed presence seemed significant so I looked on-line.  Cicada often represents personal change, renewal, rebirth and transformation.  Unlike the butterfly or moth, or other insects, that undergo complete metamorphosis, the cicada has no pupal state.  They transform from one fully-functioning state to another, in a small amount of time.  Below you can see the old hard skeletal shell hooked on a tree so the new creature can slowly wiggle out of a  narrow slit in the top of the hard headed shell, and emerge with wings.   

Her choice to land on the palm tree delivered another important lesson from nature.  

The stately palm, unlike other trees that branch out in many directions, only grows straight up. The trunk is elastic, and keeps the tree flexible.  During storms, the palm bends down low so as not to break in the wind.     

While humanity is going through a perilous expedition in uncharted territory, the good news is if we keep our focus on the indwelling Christ, we, too, will break out of our old shell and awaken to a new creature in Christ.  

Here are some things from Gospel Messages from the Antarctic, we can do to see with the eyes of  our heart so we may see Him.

1.  Humble our hearts before God and tell Him that we need His light to guide us 'home'.

2.  Resolve that so far as we know how to do it we will "run...the race...looking unto Jesus."

3. Ask God to open the eyes of our heart so that we may really see "the heavenly vision" for ourselves.

4.   Ask him to show us more and more what that vision means, and to give us grace to be obedient to it, whatever it may cost.    

Enjoy your day with the Angels, and remember God loves You.  

Love and peace,

Rae Karen