In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
This beautiful butterfly reminds me of the fact that we Christians, in some way, are also an endangered species. It seems that we are living in populations that are isolated from society as a whole.
The Apollo butterfly (Parnissius apollo), like this one that I photographed last week in the Andorran Pyrenees, is a beautiful Lepidoptera, and quite a large one, with a wing-span that can reach 8 cm.
It is mainly white, with a dry, parchment-like texture and two large red ocelli on its lower wings. These ocelli can vary considerably from one population to another.
As many as 300 subspecies have been identified in the different mountainous regions where it lives, although it is not entirely certain that all of these subspecies can be verified.
This is due in part to the collectors’ enthusiasm for discovering new varieties, and partly to the disruptive nature of their distribution: that is to say, to the fact that they live in isolated populations in the mountainous massifs of almost all the mild and cold regions of Eurasia.
It is believed to be a survivor of the Quaternary Glaciations. If scientists’ predictions concerning global warming are fulfilled, many of the existing populations of the Apollo butterfly could disappear from the southernmost massifs in just a few years.
This beautiful butterfly reminds me of the fact that we Christians, in some way, are also an endangered species. We might be represented by hundreds of more or less artificial denominations, but it seems that we are living in populations that are isolated from society as a whole.
The atmospheric conditions have changed so much in some regions that we face the threat of dying out. What can we do? Only one thing occurs to me: continuing to live out our Christian values and drawing strength from the grace of Jesus Christ.
As Paul said to Timothy: “You, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). God knows all things and holds our destiny in his hands, as he does that of the whole human race.