A message from Rita Goddard, Lay Minister

Posted by Admin on Tuesday, 22nd March 2011, 00:00

Last summer I took my nine-year-old god-daughter to the local tourist attraction – Butterfly World. Having had a special interest in butterflies for some time, she was fascinated to see the eggs, the caterpillars and the beautiful butterflies. She was even more interested when one of the Staff told her about the whole process and showed us things we might have missed, had he not walked around with us.

I was reminded of this event last week when a friend sent me a beautiful film clip on the internet entitled The Butterfly Circus. It is an American production possibly set in the early part of the twentieth century contrasting the Butterfly Circus with other touring circuses as they travelled around remote rural areas.  These other early circuses often housed sideshows exploiting humans who were deformed in some way.

I am assuming The Butterfly Circus was different in that all those who took part had been transformed from some difficulty in life into doing something which brought pleasure to those who came to watch the circus. A violent man used his strength in a positive way. A prostitute cared for the child born to her in addition to performing beautiful movements on the trapeze. The butterfly egg becomes the caterpillar which then becomes the chrysalis which gives way to the beautiful butterfly. These circus performers had their lives turned around through believing in themselves, experiencing the love and care of their fellow performers and receiving the affirmation of the audiences who were thrilled by their actions.

The film focuses on a limbless man who, having heard day after day a sideshow Manager telling people that even God had turned his back on him because of his disability, believed it for himself. After joining the Butterfly Circus and with encouragement from the owner the limbless man attempted and achieved many new things. Eventually, by performing in the Circus, he encouraged others who were far less disabled than himself. The transformation in him and his life was amazing and beautiful to see.

Towards the end of April we shall be celebrating Easter, an occasion when God transformed the darkness of Good Friday into the beauty of Easter Sunday. Jesus’ disciples and others thought their world had fallen apart when they witnessed his death upon the cross. Three days later they literally couldn’t believe their eyes when the resurrected Jesus appeared before them.

The Cross is evidence that God has not turned his back upon anyone. Rather, as the gospel of John states “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

If you have access to a computer and twenty minutes to spare, you may like to watch the film for yourself:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbw2dd_the-butterfly-circus-2009_shortfilms

This would be far better than relying upon my inadequate description.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy Easter.

Rita Goddard

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