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FOX4: Origami butterfly display helps with prayer and healing at Saint Luke's North

December 17, 2017

When 15-year-old Lauren Szala started thinking about the Gold Award Project she’d need to complete as a senior Girl Scout, she sought inspiration.

First, she looked to her mother. Kelly Szala is a nurse practitioner for women’s health at Saint Luke’s North Hospital–Barry Road. Lauren saw how her mother and other health care providers helped people who needed healing.

Second, she turned to the power of prayer. Her mother had told her a study done at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute found patients who had been randomly chosen to be prayed for each day for 28 days scored 11 percent better on health measurements than their counterparts who weren’t prayed for each day.

And third, she recalled the Japanese practice of origami and the legend of 1,000 cranes. The crane is a symbol of good health and longevity. It is said that anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish.

And that’s when everything clicked. 

Instead of cranes, Lauren chose the butterfly, a symbol of transformation and a simple fold that anyone can master. She recruited volunteers to help make the butterflies and asked them to say a quick prayer for the ill while folding. As her origami kaleidoscope of butterflies grew, she began mounting them into the shape of a cross housed within a shadowbox frame. Once completed, she knew exactly what to do.

She gifted the 1,000 prayers to Saint Luke’s North Hospital. And now we invite you to continue Lauren’s dream and make your own butterfly prayer.

Lauren spoke with FOX4 about the importance of prayer and why she chose to give her display to Saint Luke's.