The Elephants Trunk


“There is a Hindu story comparing the mind to the trunk of an elephant – restless, inquisitive, always straying. In India, elephants are sometimes taken in religious processions through the streets to the temple. The streets are crooked and narrow, lined on either side with fruit and vegetable stalls. Along comes the elephant with his restless trunk, and in one sinuous motion, he grabs a whole bunch of bananas. He opens his cavernous mouth, and tosses the bananas in – stalk and all. From the next stall he picks up a coconut and tosses it in after the bananas. No threats or promises can make this restless trunk settle down. But the wise elephant trainer will give that trunk a short bamboo stick to hold. Then the elephant will walk along proudly, holding the bamboo stick in front like a drum major with a baton. He doesn’t steal bananas and coconuts now, because his trunk has something to hold onto.”

Over last weekend, I spent the morning after mass on Saturday, in front of an abortion clinic on Miramar Road, praying with a group of 50 or so others. The decision to go and do this was a hard one. I had always wanted to but had in the past, blocked myself from participating because I would often feel like a hypocrite. I went and it was the most uplifting experience I had ever participated in. I had confessed my sin many years ago and only now have forgiven myself. I had always felt that I had so much to offer in regard to praying with so much love but that “Elephant” would always be in the room to point out my shortcomings. As I pulled up in front of this clinic and parked my car, walking to greet the others, I noticed to the left of the abortion clinic a store named “The Elephants Trunk”. I smiled when I noticed it. I confessed that years ago & focused more on the prayers that were needed for souls about to make the same deadly mistake I had years before. If only the women walking into this place understood the significance of that store just a few doors down, the decision would already have been made to keep their child.

“6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. 15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to
approach unto him.”
20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can
draw up Jordan into his mouth.
24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.” Job 40 6-24

I think of the “Elephant” as our Lord. Through the Holy Spirit, knocking over our guilt and making it more apparent and less likely to be hidden from our own eyes. Until we address the underlying problem, and fix it, how can we even attempt to fix others? Ensure that “Stick” is always in the elephants trunk. Meaning, keep yourself clean and avoid sinful behavior or that “Elephant” will never let you rest.

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