Catherine was two; Tom was a newborn, and a demanding one at that! Born with an intestinal deformity, he had had surgery when he was only three days old. After we brought him home from the large metropolitan hospital where he’d undergone the traumatic effects of a duodojejunostomy, Tom hollered constantly. He was in a great
deal of pain, and the aftermath of the surgery seemed as trying to him as the actual operation. His incessant crying frustrated his young sister, who for nine months had looked forward to a smiling, cooperative playmate. To compensate, she whined along with him, demanding equal time. Soon I became a basket case. Mealtimes seemed to be the most challenging. As I worked painstakingly to get Tom to swallow a little food between sobs, Catherine worked painstakingly to get my attention.
“Mom, could I water paint?”
“Mom, where is my “Winnie the Pooh” tape?”
“Mom, I want some cheese.”
“Mom, come turn on the light in the bathroom.”
“Mom, let’s go outside. Come push me on the swing.”
“Waaaaahhhh,” yelled Tom. His digestive system may not have been in perfect condition, but his respiratory system was fully and completely operative!
“Lord, help me, please,” I prayed in desperation. “I am only one person. I can tend to only one thing at a time. Please send someone to help me.”
Suddenly, almost miraculously, Catherine stopped her litany of needs. The silence came so abruptly I thought she was choking on something and couldn’t speak. But as I turned to check on her, I realized God had answered my prayer and had indeed sent “someone.” It was a butterfly! There it fluttered, pulsating wings, probing antennae, poised on the opposite side of the windowpane at eye-level with Catherine. She was totally captivated as she watched its vibrant little mid-air performance. I too was enchanted and immensely relieved as the delicate creature “baby-sat” until Tom’s feeding was finally over. Then, when he had finished his last bite and I could turn my attention to Catherine, the beautiful monarch glided away on some other God-given assignment.
“Thank you, Lord,” I prayed.
How marvelous are the His ways; how intimately He cares, even for our smallest concerns. Who, except our Creator, both mighty and whimsical, would have ever thought of a butterfly for a baby-sitter!