Prayer as Cocooning
I draw prayer round me like a dark protective wall, withdraw inside it as one might into a convent cell and then step outside again, calmer and stronger and more collected again.
The process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly holds unending comparisons to our spiritual journeys.
When I am struggling with the chaos of life and sleep evades me, I often lie for hours praying. I go into that long dark place, caterpillar-like, restless and irritated as though my skin itches. But just as Etty Hillesum says, in that "convent cell" type place, I can be reformed and restored and "calmer, stronger and more collected" after the struggle.
Perhaps cocooning, like praying, is an ongoing process we must engage in on our spiritual journeys. Sometimes we might be in the various stages for longer than others, but ultimately we breakthrough and "fly like a butterfly." However, as long as we are in this life, we will continue to work through the different stages. It is only in life eternal that our wings will be strong enough to last forever.
Today I am celebrating some beautiful butterflies in heaven! Thanks be to God.