Thursday, August 25, 2016

Becoming an Elephant


I stumbled across an old email the other day—it hinted at a true story about elephants. I’ve always been fascinated by these creatures (who abounded in the land of my birth), so I eagerly read on. What an intriguing tale! Lawrence Anthony, nicknamed ‘The Elephant Whisperer’ had been an international conservationist, environmentalist, explorer and bestselling author. I quote from the narrative:

On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died. He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2 grandsons, and numerous elephants, italics mine.

How did those ‘numerous elephants’ show that they remembered him?
How did we know that they did?
But first, what had they to remember of him?

Lawrence Anthony had been a legend. Rogue elephants who would usually have been put down, had been calmed, rescued and given refuge in a large sanctuary he established for them. Anthony was known to be exceptional in caring for traumatised elephants. When the ‘Elephant Whisperer’ died, something mysterious and profound took place. From miles away, wild elephants—dozens of them, silently began a long trek to his home, in solemn single file, taking at least 12 hours to reach. They stayed for two days, refusing to eat or drink, saying goodbye to the man who had championed their cause.

What an amazing story! And what a brilliant example of remembering. How did they even know he had died? We human beings are good at recalling the bad done to us. Do we also bring to mind often the acts of kindness we’ve received? I've been inspired by the life of King David as I've studied it recently. I was struck also by an occurrence that took place when King Saul died. Men in the small town of Jabesh Gilead came stealthily at dead of night, and took his body away with them so that his enemies would not taunt his body. These valiant men risked their lives for a dead king, because years before, King Saul had helped them. They too had remembered.


Would you like to be an elephant today? Not in size of course. Nor in looks, so you can rest easy. But would you like to be an elephant today in the act of remembering?

WHAT CAN WE, WHO CALL OURSELVES CHRISTIAN WRITERS, REMEMBER?

1. That Jesus bought us life, freedom and salvation. Praise Him.

2. The inspiring books we’ve read and how we’ve been changed through them.

3. Writers, role models and teachers in our writing sphere who have taught us, shaped our writing and grown us. Let’s appreciate them.

4. That our dreams, talents, abilities, time and even opportunities to write, all come from Him who reigns over all. We are stewards. We owe it all to our Lord.

5. That everything we’ve achieved are gifts from Him, so any praise directed at our writing and speaking efforts should be boomeranged back to our Creator.

6. The encouraging ways that God came through for us in the past, so with grateful hearts, we can entrust the future of our creativity to Him.

7. The deep joy we have in being writers called of God—how thrilling the journey. Let us never take our calling for granted.


And so today, I pause, reflect and give thanks. To God—for calling me to write for Him, for His guidance and inspiration. To you, my fellow writers who’ve taught me over the years and encouraged me stay on course. To those whose insightful books have showered God’s truth over my being. I look forward to new mountains yet to climb, because all I know of our God tells me that if He’s come through for me in the past, I can count on His faithfulness in the future.

I’d like to be an Elephant today.
Would you care to join me?

And now my Christian Writer Friends, this is for you:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 1:3-6


Anusha’s been on many interesting detours in life, as a lab technician, a computer programmer, a full time Mum, a full time volunteer, a charity director, a full time job chaser, until one golden day (or was it a dark moonless night?) God tapped her on her shoulder and called her to write for Him. She has never recovered from the joy it brought her. She loves to see others enjoying life with Jesus and does her mite to hurry the process in her world through her writing and through her life. The goodness of God is her theme song through each season, as she dances in the rain with Jesus. Please stop by at her website Dancing in the Rain to say G’day. She’d love to see you.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks, Anusha--beautiful thoughts, as always. We are so good at forgetting all those important things on your list, aren't we, and so good at remembering those things that weigh us down in our writing journey instead. Your reference to elephants also reminded me that, early on in my writing journey, I read somewhere that, as writers, we need to cultivate a sensitive heart but also the hide of an elephant, so all those rejections and critical comments don't wound us too deeply! So yes--let's be elephants!

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    1. Thanks so much dear Jo-Anne. It's always easier to remember the negatives I agree. Thank you for sharing that interesting analogy - of having sensitive hearts like elephants but a thick hide. Very true. I shall remember that and I know it will help me in my writing joureny so thank you.

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  2. Thanks Anusha. I read Lawrence Anthony's story recently and was so touched by the elephant trek of honour by those magnificent animals after he died. I have been an elephant fan since I was a child remembering Samorn, the elephant at the Adelaide Zoo and the one before her actually. Obviously as a child their size impressed me but their was a gentleness about the way they looked at you like they wanted to wrap their trunk around you and give you a hug.

    A bit like our God - big, impressive but with that gentleness and love that you can count on.

    As always, loved your post Anusha! Blessings!

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    1. Thanks so much dear Lesley for both reading and responding. Delighted to hear that you too had heard of the story and that you like me are an elephant fan. I too have loved them since I was a child. I never questioned as to why I did - but what you said makes sense. Gentle animals in spite of their mammoth size. I've seen men carried by their trunks - powerful they are. Blessings right back and thanks so much for sharing.

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  3. Hi Anusha,
    I love elephants, and remember hearing that wonderful true story too. I've always had the feeling there's more to them than meets the eye. Big, intelligent and gentle, what's not to love? I remember seeing a gorgeous link of some baby ones frolicking in the water too, which I'll have to try to find. Thanks also for the list of things we'd do well to remember, like the elephants.

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    1. Hi Paula. So pleased to hear you too love elephants. Sounds like there are a good number of elephant lovers among us. Yes, big, intelligent and gentle describes them well. I watched a baby elephant in a herd rushing from adult elephant to adult elephant once - he was so cute and so full of beans. These elephants too were frolicking in the water like the ones you saw. :)

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  4. Anusha, how I love this! I have always loved the mystery of elephants, but in America there are none except in zoos. They are sensitive and loving, loyal to those who love and care for them. Such a sweet story! Loved your list of reminders, too. Thanks for your lovely post.

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    1. Hi Karen. Thanks so much for reading and responding. So good to hear that you too have loved the mystery of elephants. You are right. They are sensitove and loving and loyal. Glad you liked the story. I was deeply moved by it too. Bless you for your warm words my friend.

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  6. Loved the story about the elephants lining up. Awesome creatures. I've seen them in the wild and was afraid as we were in their territory. However we have a lot to learn..thanks for those reminders you have listed!

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    1. So glad you liked the story too Angie. Yes, they are lovely, aren't they? That's great you've met them face to face in the wild. I wouldn't like to be in the way if an elephant went on a stampede. Hope I get to see a few in the wild one day. :)

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  7. Lovely reminder of all the positives of being called by God to write. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you Pam. So glad you liked it. :)

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