Thursday, 25 August 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?
“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.