Emergence and Transformation

Our themes for this month of April are Emergence and Transformation.

As soon as I started thinking of that, I remembered this passage from the writing of Nikos Kazantzakis.

“I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of the tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in the case and preparing to come out. I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath. In vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear, all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.

That little body, I do believe is the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the rhythm of people and things.”

Especially lately, so much feels, is, urgent, that it’s hard for me to be patient about any of it. I don’t figure anything will be easy, but it’s not the difficulty that feels like too much to bear, it’s the passing of time, while great needs, great opportunities, important deadlines, come closer and closer, and sometimes even pass by. That, in particular, the passing by, is terrible to bear.

So it’s a good time for me to remember Kazantzakis’ wisdom – that I can’t control every-thing, that things will not happen in my time, no matter how important, no matter my own urgency, no matter even, sometimes timetables and deadlines. I may not be able to get as far as confidently obeying the rhythm of people and things, these days, but I can remember that not everything happens best when it happens quickly. May that help me – and us – reconcile ourselves to patience, to the long game, and may it help us even to remember that sometimes time will be on our side.

See you in church,




Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Minister
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
Home study: Thursday
Day off: Friday