The Broken Butterfly

2013-04-18 11.00.22

The other day I came across this injured butterfly while out for a walk. I examined it closely and couldn’t see any obvious reason why, even with all its effort and fluttering around, it couldn’t lift off the ground and fly.

The scene made me sad. It reminded me of how there are people we cross paths with everyday who are in the same situation. From the outside they look fine. No obvious scars, a beautiful smile on their face, but on the inside they’re hopelessly stuck. They hurt deeply and they can’t get off the ground.

Several years ago, I wrote a post about a great quote I heard on a TV show. It’s since become one of my favorite quotes.

I thought I would share that post again today:

I used to love watching Extreme Home Makeover. One of my favorite episodes was when the extreme team came to help build a house for a man who felt called to take in people in his community who many might consider “less than deserving”. He would offer a place to stay to people who were really trying to get back on their feet and start their life over after serving time in prison or after struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs.

What stuck with me was the man’s response when lead designer, Ty Pennington, asked him why he felt a desire to do this. The man responded by explaining that he had experienced seasons of rough times in his own life and how much he needed help too. He ended his answer by simply saying, “I fell in love with broken people.”


The dictionary certainly doesn’t define the word broken in the most positive light. Here are just a few of the definitions listed: fragmented, torn, ruptured, reduced to submission, weakened in strength, not smooth, irregular, rough, ruined, bankrupt.

Broken people. The man’s response made me smile. It’s interesting to me that despite the negative way broken is defined, when used in the context of describing people, the word fills me with hope.

In fact, I think being described as broken might be the greatest compliment you could pay me. I spent a huge portion of my life believing that I could get through this life on my own. I didn’t need help. I was in control. But for some reason, this control that I thought I had over my life never brought me much peace or contentment on the inside.

It wasn’t until I acknowledged that I wasn’t strong enough, or good enough or smart enough to make it through this life (or the next one) on my own, that I finally discovered real peace. I truly believe that genuine peace only comes when we become willing to acknowledge our brokenness and when we acknowledge our need for the One who was sent to mend our brokenness– putting the pieces of our life back together.

He’s the superglue!

6 thoughts on “The Broken Butterfly

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks. You know, after several minutes of looking at the blown up picture of the butterfly this morning…I think I found the injury. The left wing has a small piece missing. That just reminded me of another lesson about brokenness…sometimes our eyes can only see when we spend time investing in the relationship…by really looking at the other person. 🙂

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