"Miracles Are Coming," Just on the Other Side
This year’s winner of the Academy Award for best animated film was Disney’s “Encanto.” I’ve talked a little about this movie and its story before. However, I want to talk today about one of the songs from that film (no, not about Bruno – no, no, no!). It’s the love theme from the movie, “Dos Oruguitas” (which means “Two Caterpillars” or specifically, “Two Little Caterpillars”). Here are the words:
Two caterpillars In love and yearning Spend every evening And morning learning To hold each other Their hunger burning To navigate a world That turns, and never stops turning Together in this world That turns, and never stops turning
The song continues, telling the metaphorical story of two caterpillar who are afraid for the fragile life that they are living – knowing that they are made for change and the tough transformation that awaits them. One of the verses describes it beautifully:
Oh, little caterpillars, don't hold back anymore
You have to grow apart and come back again –
Always continuing forward.
Miracles are coming – cocoons are coming
You have to go on and build your way to tomorrow
That last part is a rough translation of the Spanish. On the album there are versions in both Spanish and English, and they’re both beautiful. In my opinion, it should’ve won best song, but alas, Billie Eilish took that one.
Now, why am I telling you this?
We are now celebrating Easter – the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and His victory over sin. Having gone through Lent and the observance of His Passion and Death, this day is marked with special joy as the new life of Christ dawns on our world. This is the miracle of Easter, and we rightly rejoice and sing “Alleluia!”
However, if this were simply the story of Christ’s rising from the dead, and only His return after a horrible experience, then you and I have nothing real to gain – and nothing to celebrate. But, this is not what we celebrate. No. Instead, while we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, we remember that this is for us – all of it is for us: His suffering, the way of His Cross, His death, His burial, and, yes, His Resurrection; it’s all for us! We have a share in this awesome reality, and it’s not just a metaphor. You and I have eternal life now, thanks to Jesus’ death and resurrection; and we are assured of the fullness of life with God the Father.
But we are not exempt from the reality of life here and now; not exempt from the hardships, struggles, suffering – the change – and even death that are a very real part of human life. What Jesus has done is not so much take those things away, but rather, He has transformed them into mere episodes in a greater story of salvation and communion with God.
For the little caterpillar, entry into the cocoon looks like an end, destruction; and there is understandable fear. So too with us. However, for those who know the full story, there is a butterfly on the other side of that chrysalis! And there is life on the other side of death – a life that is not simply “breathe-in-breathe-out” but the fullness of life in Jesus.
That song observes this as well:
Two caterpillars, Cocooned and waiting Each in their own world, Anticipating
What happens after the rearranging?
And so afraid of change In a world that never stops changing So let the walls come down The world will never stop changing
Ay, little butterflies! Don't you hold on too tight Both of you know It's your time to go To fly apart, to reunite Wonders surround you Just let the walls come down Don't look behind you Fly till you find Your way toward tomorrow
You and I are the little caterpillars – the “oruguitas” – often scared, worried, anxious about change, anxious about our lives and the direction that they are taking. There’s plenty to scare us, to be sure. However, this day – and all of our faith really – is a reminder that those things are not all there is. We are part of a greater drama – a divine drama – that has a very happy ending. It will take courage for us to leave what we know behind; but Jesus has gone that way before and emerged victorious.
Listen to the angels, little caterpillars! “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” Return from the tomb today and announce that good news, like butterflies breaking out of a cocoon. Let your fears, shame, and hardness of heard fall away, and simply feel God’s love and victory in your lives.
Wonders surround you Just let the walls come down Don't look behind you Fly till you find Your way toward tomorrow