Caterpillar Soup For You!

We’ve been front and center in Portland watching my grandson’s science experiment, a Cup of Caterpillars. (If you watch this short video, you see that the caterpillars hang on tight to their “ceiling”—and this is important.) Unfortunately, we left before the butterfly finale.

Watching this evolving miracle, I was reminded of the words from last year by my favorite pastor about a specific stage in the process of caterpillar to butterfly, which he contextualized by seasons:  (at the 14:11 mark)

Jeff says, “He (Jesus) reminds us that this is a journey of transformation, that he’s making a new creation. And this idea of a metamorphosis—this is what the story is about is about, it’s about you emerging into who you were created to be…and too easily we get caught up in trying to hold onto what we once were, when in fact that season two is this whole upheaval, this rediscovery of something new. I think it was Toby who told me that in the cocoon that a caterpillar actually liquifies down into this sort of soup and then reforges and then I thought, what a great feeling, you know to just be liquified, right, like who wants that, but to go I think sometimes in life it’s like that as we find ourselves struggling, we feel like we’re losing everything when in fact Jesus is saying there’s more, this is the beginning, there’s more to come.

If I’m honest, I do feel like I’ve been dumped into a Cuisinart and I’m formless, slimy, drippy, gooey pammy soup.

Now back in Southern California, I hopped on my bike and listened to this past Sunday’s sermon that we’d missed. After Jeff’s video finished, the “next up” YouTube caught my attention, so I clicked on it even though I had no hint that it would entail—guess what—an amazing story of caterpillars and butterflies.

I don’t know Wayne Dyer’s world view and I’m not claiming his butterfly was his reincarnated friend Jack, but I do believe—if we are paying attention—we see the synchronicity in this place. If we stay awake and alert, there are otherworldly, inexplicable, miraculous signs—God’s presence. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting nothing at all and God seems nowhere to be found–it’s radio silence–but then I get still, I look, I listen. That’s not always the fix but sometimes it is.

Or sometimes, rarely–but spectacularly—it happens when I am not paying conscious attention at all—when I am literally asleep.

After listening to the story of Jack the Butterfly on my bike, I remembered the dream I’d had the night before.

It is impossible to describe.

I’ve written about these transcendent dreams that have happened a handful of times throughout my life so I’m not going to spend a lot of time trying to describe it here, but this wordless, empyrean thing happened once again. This time it was shorter, but it was a powerful burst of knowledge or awareness of the world to come, a hope to hold onto. I think it happened because I desperately need it now. This “trailer” for season three was a peek into the payoff, the result, a touch of heaven—and my metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. I so need to know there is more to come after this goo soup.

Later that afternoon, I was out running errands. As I pulled into a parking lot, about to cut the engine, the next song began to play on my favorite Sirius station. It was the same song that comforted me in 2017 when we were reeling from a terrible family trauma. Back then, I needed a sign that God was near and so I was calling all angels. With hindsight, I know that 2017 was the beginning of our family’s Cuisinart experience—our season two of liquification.

I share this because I’m pretty sure I am supposed to. I know others are being liquified into soup—I need to say to you, as Jeff and Jesus did, don’t be alarmed, it’s going to be okay. I need to say to you—and myself—hang on to the ceiling, grip and don’t you slip, this cup can be brutal, but let’s trust, let’s keep looking for signs as we become butterflies…and take flight. Just don’t leave before the finale.



“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”

― Joseph Campbell