Wooo Hooo, It’s finally hear! The day we have been expecting, It has finally arrived! With excitement in our hearts and anticipation creating a buzz all around we dress to the 9n’s. Jewelry, suits, ties, makeup (for the ladies) and let’s not forget those sharp, but ever slightly uncomfortable shoes that complete any stellar wardrobe ensemble. One this special occasion, this rarest of days, we cannot forget the most important part. Our elephant. It is, in fact, “Bring Your Elephant to Church Day”
On this day of days, this ginormous occasion, of enormous significance, we absolutely can not forget to pack our profusely over sized, ponderous, pachyderm. Sounds quite preposterous, doesn’t it? Sorry, I just had to throw in a another big “P” word, for effect.
What does this day entail, besides making room for the oversize mammals in the pew or aisle next to us? Well, it’s real impact would be found when everyone could see everyone else’s massive, smelly, beast of burden, and know, they are not the only ones that lug these things around. Yes! that’s what I am getting at. We all have them. The thing we carry around that know one seas but wears so heavily on our hearts, or perhaps the sin that other people might know about, but no one dare say a word, because they don’t want to be seen as mean or judgmental. Inside we could be crying out in desperation, but if no one wants to share their elephants, then no one wants to share their elephant.
Church should be the place where all our elephants are welcome. We should have a special section filled to the top with peanuts and hay so they are comfortable while we worship God, and then we can show them off. Tell people that this burden or hidden sin is too much to keep in our house any more. It eats too much, it poops too much, and it’s too darn big. Heck every time it moves around in our house there goes another one of our porcelain collection of “Precious Moments” left to us by our grandma. We have got to take them somewhere! Why not church? Why not go to the House of God and say “Here, I can’t deal with this thing any more. It is just too much animal for me”. We don’t though, we can’t right, because if everyone saw our elephant, then we would not be welcome. The fake smiles, and half hearted handshakes would not be enough to cover up the stench of real sin, and the hearts in real pain.
Most of the people that have left the body of Christ, did so because one day their elephant came to church with them, and they were turned away. More often then we would like to admit, they didn’t even make it past the door, because it wasn’t big enough to let the massive mammals they had with them, in. The ones that do managed to slip past the front door are scurried into a room that know one knows about, or perfumed and adorned to look like something more then they are. Ether way, an elephant, is an elephant.
Jesus, lived, and loved the people who had the biggest, meanest, smelliest elephants. The sins that could not ever be hidden. The pain that seemingly could never be fixed. He loved them, held them in his hands and heart, and then he did something only God could do. He looked at the person with love, and then the beast, well, he sent that beast packing, trunk and all! He freed them! No more elephant!
Lets do it! lets have a day were we can change, be truthful, be real, stop trying to cover our burdens with giant blankets that clearly are in the shape of an elephant. Bring your pachyderm to church. You want to know what the absolute best thing about “Bring Your Elephant to Church Day” is, you get to leave him there! And that my friends is AWESOME!
He was looking at us. Probably wondering what all the commotion was about. What were all those people doing, waiting in line, and the others buzzing about, busy. I noticed him watching us. The bars make it look like we were in some secure facility. Really the entire other side of the gate was wide open, and we had tons of children running about, playing soccer, and other games with the missionaries. He was intent, however, to watch.
We were in the heart of Nicaragua, on a medical mission with some doctors, nurses, and first year med students from the University of Miami. I am not medically inclined so I was given a camera and a task to take photos. My fist experience with a digital camera. I took tons of pictures that week, but this one stuck with me. This kid, just staring.
Was he an Orphan? Was he scared of us? What was he thinking?
I will never know the answers to those questions, but I do know what we are called to do with those called “Orphans”. We are commissioned to help look after them. To help those that seemingly cannot help themselves. Do we, help? do we make a difference? I think so. But we must pay attention, and search for more opportunities, because just as blessed as we are, there are those that have nothing.
Does your heart have room for Jesus? Does Mine?
I have a three year old little girl, and as I watch her grow and play I think back in my own life, and how simple it used to be. Thoughts were clear, right and wrong, were “right”, and “wrong”. There was less confusion, less stress, less compromise, less busyness, less to fill my mind with, and most importantly, less to fill my heart with. My question is, When is it all too much? When do we start pushing the good things out and letting all of that other stuff in? When do we start nudging the Lord of all out of our daily lives and through up signs saying there is no room in this moment, or this activity?
Leave a vacancy. Leave room for good, for love, for truth, and most importantly leave room for Jesus. He is really the only thing in your life you absolutely need to have room for.