My Butterfly Effect

by Rieneke, DTS student
Creel, Mexico 

Norma’s Mariposa

Here in Creel, it is freezing except in places where the sun beams down on you. All around me are Tarahumaran kiddos in their colorful clothes. We’ve been helping with a children’s home. Before we came, we were told that Tarahumarans are really shy and reserved, so we shouldn’t expect much interaction with these children. On top of that, Spanish is their second language, my third. As you can imagine, communication has been a challenge for us! But these children keep surprising me.

We threw a birthday party for the woman who runs the children’s home and organized a carnival for all the kids. The kids were super enthusiastic while playing the carnival games we set up. They stopped being shy and reserved and even smiled at us!

But of all the things I’ve experienced here, what touched me most was my interaction with one little girl while I painted a butterfly on her face.

“What’s your name?” I asked her.

“Norma,” she answered softly.

Norma wanted a mariposa (butterfly).

While painting her face, I wondered about Norma’s past. Before coming here, I had heard that it was common for a girl of the Tarahumaran peoples to be sexually molested at the age of five. Looking into her beautiful face, I couldn’t imagine anyone hurting her–it was too shocking to me.

Norma smiles because the brush tickles her face, and I smile too. While I outlined the  butterfly’s graceful body, I hope that Norma would be an exception. As I painted the wings I prayed that she would be able to have a good future. After I finished the butterfly, I think I saw how God sees her, beautiful and precious.

I don’t know what her future is going to be like, what scars she has already, what hurts are going to come or what happiness life will bring her, but I know that somehow we touched the life of this little girl on that day, and changed it. Why? Because we showed a small part of God’s joy and God’s love for her. That is why I came here, why I don’t care about the cold or not having everything I want, not having my own space. Because I believe that we do make a difference and touch their lives; we plant a little seed of hope.

I trust that God has an amazing plan for her life, and I know that He made her free, just as a butterfly.