Thursday, September 5, 2013

the elephant in the room

{via pinterest}
i want to talk about elephants.

there's something about them {as anyone who follows me on instagram will notice} that captivates me. i've started to notice this metaphorical parade of these creatures following me, never too far behind. people ask me all the time, why elephants? what do they mean? and my answer has shyly, sheepishly been :: i don't know.

i hate not knowing. really, it's one of those things that i struggle with the most. my favourite question is "why?" and i ask it perhaps more than i should. i want to know why, i want to know what. i just want to know. and so when these elephants began to appear in my life, stepping into my path one at a time, i wanted to know why.

and then i found a secret message, tucked in-between words gifted to my heart from my dearheart friend Teresa. and the rest came in a Lion's-breath whisper straight into my very soul.

:: it's okay to quiver. baby {elephant} steps count. 

fear. oh fear. it's the elephant in the room, to use the cliche. it's the thing we aren't supposed to do, but the one with the deepest-sinking claws. and it buries itself in and snarls and refuses to let go. and i'm holding out my hand, begging and pleading for Him to take it away, but then He reaches out and i jerk back my hand. i'm afraid to let go of the fear.

{from my own art journal. photo by dramaticelegance}
and those elephants, so big and bold and strong enough to even take on a lion in the wild, quiver in fear at the sight of something whiskered-small. they have fear too, these mighty things.

i've started to realize more and more, as i reach in and take hold of the story deep within me, that there are fear-chains wrapped around each word. it's being held down, tight, doing its level best to keep the Story stiffled. it tried to do it once already. have i forgotten that it failed? the Story ends with broken chains.

and so these elephants follow me, a sweet gentle parade, trunks swaying and nudging my back. and the Lion leads the way, a strange and beautiful party. we're walking, and inside we're quivering a little, because our Guide isn't safe. but oh, is He ever good.

and something is churning deep inside with each light barefoot step of mine, and each plodding waltz of the elephant feet.

i can hear the chains snapping.


  1. mmm how true on our fear chains...a strange and beautiful party...ha...yes i think so...that elephants remember and return to the place of their dead is enough for me to love them

  2. Hi There! I am coming over from Hear in On Sunday.

    I think we all have our own 'elephants' that keep us from living life to the full. That fact that you know what they are, is a really, really good thing! Then comes the hard stuff, the 'snapping' as you said.

    Beautiful, reflective post! Nice to meet you today :)

  3. Chains snapping and chains snapped and may the parade never pass you or me by. And sometimes we quiver and quake in season, and out of season we'll stampede with the Savior, echoing Lion's roar.

    I love your posts and how they make me think...keep it up.

    PS your baby girl grows cuter by the minute!!

  4. Yes, the Story ends with broken chains. Beautiful imagery and truth, sister. Thank you.

  5. Dear Rachel
    We are so blessed in South Africa to have quite a few wild game reserves that host elephants and I will never forget how one elephant bull chased our car long ago when we were on vacation in the Kruger National Park! But those elephants that try to scare us in life can be quite another matter, but following Jesus instead on focussing on the fear, breaks the chains of fear the one after the other! Great post, my friend! I can relate to elephants for I grew up ver near to the Addo National Park near Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
    Blessings XX

  6. My word for the year is "Fearless"I know too well the chains of fear and how they try to hold you back. I love the image of the elephants and their fearlessness.


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon