Daily Riches: Radically Trusting God, Truly Helping Others (Nikos Kazantzakis, Parker Palmer)

“I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree just as a butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited awhile, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened; the butterfly started slowly crawling out, and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were foldedhatching back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath, in vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand. That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the external rhythm.”  Nikos Kazantzakis
“…most people can and must come to life in their own way and time, and if we try to help them by hastening the process, we end up doing harm. …[but] when we understand that our efforts to help other people can be unhelpful, or worse, we may start to avert our eyes from their struggles and pains, not knowing what to do and embarrassed by our own ineptitude. … [but] Instead of fixing up, or letting down, people who have a problem, we [can] stand with simple attentiveness at the borders of their solitude – trusting that they have within themselves whatever resources they need and that our attentiveness can help bring those resources into play. …We stay present to each other without wavering, while stifling any impulse to fix each other up. We offer each other support in going where each needs to go, and learning what each needs to learn, at each one’s pace….” Parker Palmer
Everyone should be … slow to speak”
James 1:19

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you resist the urge to “fix” someone in need?
  • Can you simply be “present” to them in love rather than averting your eyes?
  • Will you trust them to do for themselves what only they can do, and God to do for them what only God can do – and will do in God’s time?

Abba, help.

For More: A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)