Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. –Psalm 40:2

The other day I noticed the little wooden elephant that rides along on my keychain. It was a gift from a high school friend that came back with her from visiting family in India. Its original chain had broken some time back and I had reattached it to my keys by the metal loop in its back. This morning, as I was crossing the parking lot at work, somehow, I looked down at just the right moment to see it there a little bit rolled over with one leg broken off. Contrary to my germ-o-phobic tendencies, I barely hesitated before picking it up and taking it inside. I thought I might just throw it away, but I felt a bit sad for having lost its company on my keychain, though I hadn’t even noticed it was lost before I found it. I decided to clean it up, but while I was doing so another one of the legs and some other bits of wood came off. When I finished I found that it could stand up on its own; better than it would have with its chain or four uneven legs. So, I stood it up next to my two birthday cards on top of the CPU tower on my desk.

As I counted out my 20 seconds of hand washing, I thought about the strangeness of this incident especially what it might mean in the context of this morning. On my drive to work, I was committing to God my worries and fears as well as confessing to Him my fear that perhaps I am not even one of His children, or that He would not even hear me; that I would never make it out of this dark tunnel or ever really be made clean.

Just as I was finishing my hand-washing count, God whispered words of healing and peace to me. Where else could such words have come from? If I, who am human, took notice of such a small, unimportant thing, surely God, who sees all things, notices me and hears me (Genesis 16:13, 2 Kings 20:4-6). Is Jesus not the Good Shepherd whose sheep hear and know His voice (John 10:4, 14-15)? Does He not take notice of, seek out and bring back those who have wandered away (Matthew 18:12-14)? If I took the time to pick up and clean off a tiny wooden elephant that I paid nothing for, how much more time would the Father take to gently pick up His child and wash her clean with something incomparably stronger than a Lysol wipe—His child whose life He paid for with His own (Revelation 5:9). Though I am broken, is He not the One who “heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:2-4)? I could not repair the broken wooden legs of the elephant and had to let them go. Though God’s cleansing will also mean pruning (John 15:2-4), cutting away of things I need to let go…yet will He set my feet upon a rock and cause me to stand firm!

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
-Psalm 103:1-5


  1. so beautiful priscilla--but i'm shocked that YOU of all people would worry that you're not one of God's children?! just goes to show how vulnerable we all feel at some point or another. although i'm beyond sure that you're one of God's most beautiful and cherished creatures! :) miss you! xoxo

  2. Thanks Sofy...miss you too. Come see me? I'll be in Austin!