I desperately wanted to capture the moment.
With all the greenery surrounding us, this elephant wanted that one.
She stood reaching and stretching and squirming, but she wasn’t gaining much ground. I turned to see if anyone else saw what I did—but I was alone.
For twenty minutes the big old gray girl struggled and struggled, refusing to give up. Finally, she pulled down a huge, orange mango. But instead of eating it, she cradled it in her massive trunk, and carried it to the base of the tree.
As she stood facing the tree, the tiny trunk of a baby elephant reached out from the bushes for the succulent, perfectly ripe fruit. She used her trunk to stroke the little one, as it held the mango to its mouth and took a bite.
The elephant is one of the most feared animals in Africa, yet this one just wanted the best mango in the entire forest for her baby.
At first, I was reminded how precious our children are to us. This little elephant baby wasn’t starving. And according to the villagers, it is rare to see an elephant eating mangos.
Then it dawned on me—mom was giving her baby a treat. An elephant treat! How cool is that? I marveled at the moment and how it correlated with the way we feel about our own kids.
But later, when I was describing the scene to someone in our crew, I realized the closer correlation to our relationship with Christ.
We love to give our children special, precious things. That compassion—that nurturing and loving instinct comes from God. The fact that He implants such a drive within us is one thing. But realizing He places the same desire in the heart of a 12,000-pound animal, to persevere until she can gently pluck a ripe mango from the heights of a tree without squeezing it too hard is awesome.
It’s comforting to know that my love for my children, and desire to bless them doesn’t depend on my personality. It’s a gift from God. All I need to do is enjoy it.