Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When you're feeling black and blue all over

My husband, Jerry, has always had a good fashion sense about him, but recently his daughter, Mari, took issue with a color combination he wore.

She observed his navy trousers and black shoes, and asked, “Why don’t you wear brown shoes with those pants?”

“I always wear black with navy,” he said.

“Well,” she paused for effect, and then said dryly, “You look like a bruise.”

We’ve laughed so much about this comment, and anytime one of us wears black with blue, the inside joke in our family is that we look like a bruise.

The truth is that sometimes we may  not only look like a bruise, we may feel like one as well.

Life has a way of delivering punches that leave us with contusions on the heart.

In fact, yesterday, I rather felt that way myself as I stepped outside onto the patio for a little fresh air.

But, I noticed around the lantana and verbena, a creature also black and blue fluttered undisturbed by my presence.

Pipe Vine Swallowtail

Not a lepidopterist, I did a little research and believe the butterfly to be a Pipe Vine Swallowtail.

The iridescent blue on its wings shimmered in the afternoon sun as I followed it with my camera.

I had to laugh as it occasionally buzzed me with its happy twittering.

When I saw the images on the computer, the pictures astounded me. I am at best an accidental photographer, so I couldn’t believe what I’d captured. The black and blue Pipe Vine Swallowtail gave me joy.

When we’re feeling all beaten down by circumstances, it’s hard to realize that God can bring joy. And that sometimes even bruises can be beautiful.

“But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed” (Isaiah 53:5 The Message).

Through the bruises of Jesus, we find our soul's cure. Through his suffering, we have life.

It's good to remember God longs to give joy even when we’re bruised. And that he can use the black and blue in our lives to minister marvelous joy to others.

These things are mysteries, but glorious ones.

I’ll be showing these Swallowtail pictures to Jerry. He’ll be happy to see that God thinks black and blue go together, too. 


Kim said...


This is so beautiful! It has really ministered to my heart.

Love, Kim

Unknown said...

Love your photographs Beverly! This is just what I needed to lift my heart and fully appreciate the gift of a beautiful Spring day in Oklahoma 😍

Beverly Varnado said...

Ah, Mary, thank you for your great encouragement. I love these pictures, and of course the butterfly eventually became a painting and fine art prints. God's gifts just go on and on. I'm watching goldfinches at a feeder right now. So incredible. Enjoy your Oklahoma spring.

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