Two wings and a prayer for Easter

“Happy Easter, Reverend Jones! To start, do you think of Easter as a literal flesh-and-blood resurrection? I have problems with that.”

That was the start of a conversation published in The New York Times on Easter weekend in 2019, one that still peeves me several years later.

For now, let’s set aside the appropriateness of thumbing one’s nose at the premise of the religious faith professed by more than 6 in 10 Americans on that religion’s holiest day. Instead, let’s examine what a prominent physician recently had to say about literal flesh-and-blood resurrection in nature.

It involves the butterfly, but stay with me. The story is not the same one we’ve all known since childhood — the symbolic metamorphosis of the humble caterpillar into an elegant winged creature. That, in itself, is astounding. But Dr. Milton Packer, a Texas cardiologist, explained in his essay “Two Caterpillars in Love” that what happens to the caterpillar on a granular level is even more miraculous than that.

(The rest of my Easter reflection for Deseret can be read here.)