On the outside, he was as tough as any soldier fresh from boot camp.
But the Army man's heart remained intact.
And one day, his heart skipped a beat when he discovered how cruel a man of the world could be to one of God's creatures.
Another soldier had taken out his frustration on a butterfly. He found the beautiful creature frantically trying to take flight while tethered with a string.
Later, the man's heart would teach him a lesson about how he could learn of God's ways from this one beautiful gift.
Butterflies, after all, are no strangers to struggle.
Science documents a painful process as the creature morphs its body from a slithering caterpillar crawling through the dust to a creature that floats on the wind.
And breaking through the butterfly's tough chrysalis, no doubt, brings about the insect's greatest challenge.
In the fight to break free lies the miracle. Science notes how, in the challenge to free itself, the butterfly gains the strength and power it needs to soar through the air and master the elements.
But a tether was not part of God's plan for this lovely insect.
The soldier's heart sank as he fumbled, now out of breath, for a way to help this fluttering being.
Time froze as he feared his clumsy attempt at rescue would further injure the delicate creation.
Nervously, he clipped the string and the butterfly fell to the ground. The uniformed man instinctively stood at attention as he pondered the weight of what seemed at that moment to be an eternal loss.
But then, the angelic insect began to move. Soon its wings fluttered again. The creature arose and, pausing just for an instant, seemed to look deep into the man's eyes, reaching down into his soul. The soldier thought he felt the butterfly tell him, "thank you."
Feeling a bond with the former prisoner, the man reached out, thinking the wild creature would perch on his hand.
But the butterfly floated upward and immediately left through an open window, leaving the man silenced by the wonder of his experience.
Then one day, that man realized how he and others could be like that butterfly.
He discovered that it was God's plan for men and women to gain strength from their challenges as they arose to their infinite potential.
And then he knew that God had sent butterflies and other wonders to teach us what He had in store for mankind.