Several weeks ago my family watched a caterpillar shed its skin and build its chrysalis, right in front of our eyes. I have always been amazed at the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Being able to watch this part of the process was a true blessing. It took just under 4 minutes to build the home where the little body of the caterpillar will live for around 14 days and become something larger and different. Something bringing joy to people through its beauty and peace. Something that offers sustainability to our fruits and flowers keeping the cycle of life going. And throughout this process, God is there. God orchestrated this and every other natural process. And it is truly awe-inspiring. Nothing is left the same after God has been there, and if open to this change amazing things can happen.
(Video of the caterpillar we watched forming its chrysalis.)
As humans, do we have a choice to responding to God’s call? Is the caterpillar able to say no to this completely life altering transformation? Just as we are unable to stop the raging storms, the natural process can not be stopped without divine intervention.
However, is not so for us humans. Listening to the call is a choice and it is easy to ignore the voice tugging at our soul. Questions easily arise: Am I really being called by God? Am I worthy? Am I able? Why me? I don’t think a caterpillar asks such questions. It just knows what to do, and most importantly, when. Its natural instincts lead the way for when to eat, sleep, and transform.
With a dedicated staff who have chosen to be part of this mission, 1,500 annual volunteers searching for a way to give back, and over 100 faith communities offering various levels of support, Friendship House has been answering the call to serve our community of homeless individuals for the past 30 years; individuals who came to Friendship House in need of a pathway forward, and someone who can offer hope that the pathway exists for anyone.
Friendship House is a chrysalis in its own way. It is within our cocoon of loving and caring people anyone open to God’s call can be transformed into someone different; someone capable of an enriching life giving back to our own cycle of life.
As long as the call is answered, we can continue to serve for another 30 years. Saying yes to the call, we are blessed with the opportunity of becoming more faithful servants. By saying yes we open ourselves to the opportunity of inner transformation that can be life altering.
As Paul tells us in his letter to Timothy, “Keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the good news, and fully carry out the ministry God has given to you.”
With the need growing in our community and resources thin, the call is just as real today as it was 30 years ago when Friendship House first started. There is no time like today to say yes to the call. I pray you will join us to serve those who are looking for a path to a life we know they are worthy of living —worthy because they are our brothers and sisters. Walk with us, as we walk with those who are losing hope of a path that leads to their own inner transformation. Together, we can answer the call.
The life cycle of the monarch caterpillar. We saw it eating milkweed, shed its skin and build its chrysalis, and then become a butterfly.
– Kim Eppehimer (Executive Director)