by Lilly Lewin
Last week while leading a sabbath retreat, I participated in an art meditation where four people prayed around one piece of board core form board using colorful chalk pastels. My host for the weekend led the meditation and after each prayer prompt, we would draw in response. Then we would turn the board a quarter turn and draw again, adding to the art prayer already created by our neighbor. During one turn of the board, I noticed that my neighbor had drawn a cocoon on the stem of a rose. Just the chrysalis , the cocoon, not a butterfly and no caterpillar or butterfly in sight! Most of the images on our board were abstract designs and a few words or phrases so the image of the chrysalis stood out. God reminded me about the green goo stage of creation.
I first heard about the green goo stage in Art Class in California. My teacher Karen Ingalls told us that the caterpillar goes in his cocoon but first he must actually decompose into green goo before he transforms into a beautiful butterfly.
Karen told us that often when we paint we’d get to the green goo stage. That time in the painting when you are so frustrated that you just want to throw the painting in the bin or trash it & paint over your painting and just start all over! You’ve been working and working and you just can’t quite get it to look like you want it to… Karen said that is when you are in the green goo! And we have to go through the green goo stage to get to the good stuff, to get to the beautiful creation on the other side.
You have to stick with the painting, not give up or paint over it. You must go through the green goo stage to get to the beautiful creation on the others side! And usually when you’ve reached the green goo stage you are getting really close to seeing that butterfly!
This is how my life has felt lately, like a pile of green goo. Things have not felt like they are going together well and there is a lack of clarity and a lot of little frustrations that have added up to big ones. Jesus used the art meditation with the drawing of the cocoon to remind me that i am just living in the green goo stage right now. Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that I don’t need to be discouraged or give up or drop everything and run ahead like i so often do! Just know I am in the green goo!
We so often get to the place where we cannot see what is next! We don’t understand what God is up to or we cannot see even what the next step should be. Sometimes there are too many choices, other times their are not enough or it doesn’t appear there are any! That is the green goo!
That’s when God is at work transforming us into the butterfly. Usually it’s uncomfortable, change always is! And transformation always is. Because you are morphing into something new!
And mostly we don’t like it, and we just want to chuck everything in the bin and run away.
But like the caterpillar, we need to know that there is something on the other side. We need to know that we don’t end in green goo. God is transforming us and our lives into something beautiful. We just cannot see it yet.
How about you? What season are you in now? Are you crawling along nicely like a caterpillar or soaring like a butterfly? Or are you just in the middle of the transformational, sometimes totally frustrating, green goo stage?
Take some time to talk to Jesus about this. Allow Jesus to show you where you are and what he is up to in your life. Take time this week to notice the caterpillars, the butterflies and even a cocoon! Let these things remind you that God is doing things in your life…even in the green goo!
And check out the video on what really happens to the caterpillar!