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!
To be spiritually broken, what’s that like? In the old testament extreme brokenness was represented with torn robes, sack cloth, and ashes. That doesn’t sound very comfortable, and not easy to hide. That was the point, right? Not to be comfortable but to reflect the pain and grief felt on the inside, outwardly. That way everyone could see how broken a person really was. (Example: 2 Kings 19:1)
It stands as a far cry from today. When we are broken, even over good and Godly things we pretend like everything is OK. We go on like our broken state is just an inconvenience. Wipe those tears away, we don’t have time to have a contrite heart, we don’t want to answer when someone ask what’s wrong. Because our fear is that if we answered, my heart aches for those that have no hope, aches for those who are lost, those being sold into slavery, those who’s lives we can never seem to touch no matter how hard we try. That would be too much to tell anyone and they wouldn’t want to hear it.
That kind of truth is heavy. Too heavy for most people to hear. And so the shades go on over the puffy eyes, the walls go back up, and we hide our brokenness from the world. It’s OK to be broken. And while I don’t see many folks running around in sack cloths anymore, we could all use a heart dose of being laid bare every now and then, and sharing that heart with others.