The Fable of Ella the Forgetful Elephant
Fostering a Culture of Compassion
Have you ever dismissed someone as incapable? Learn about fostering a culture of compassion from Ella the Forgetful Elephant.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble
(1 Peter 3:8 CSB).
Nanny elephant stomped and raised her trunk at the little ones’ persistent whining for peanuts. She had neither time nor patience for the tedium of picking so many peanuts every day.
Young, forgetful Ella trotted to Nanny announcing “I can help! Picking peanuts is fun and easy.”
Nanny glanced downward and snapped “Really? Would your memory loss allow you to find your way out of the forest by yourself?”
Read Proverbs 11:12. How can your own pride make your life more difficult?
Freed By Faith
Faith overheard and sighed as she drew a sad face in the sand with her trunk. Sure, Ella was forgetful, but at least she wanted to help. There had to be something she could do.
“Are you okay?” She asked as Ella shuffled by.
Ella was so deep in her sad thoughts that she didn’t hear Faith. But Faith noticed a trail following Ella left by her dragging trunk.
“Ella, wait!” Faith called and hopped towards her.
“Why, are you going to be mean to me too?” Ella mumbled.
“No, I’m not here to make you feel even worse. I’m here to help you.”
“Why do you want to help me?”
“Because you’re the best peanut picker in the herd. And, whether she wants to admit it or not, Nanny does need help.”
Ella’s trunk curled between her feet. “But she’s right. I forget how to get home every time I go to the peanut forest.”
“Maybe you do. But look behind you now! See the trail back to Nanny? You made that! You know where else you can leave a trail?”
As Ella turned around, her eyes opened wide. “Yes! I’ll make a trail in the forest so I can find my way back!”
“See how smart you are! Now let’s show Nanny how helpful you’ll be!”
Read Romans 12:3. How would you treat people in the community and workplace differently if you just assumed that everyone struggles with something?
Snacks and Smiles
A week later, Ella and Faith listened with the children beneath the maple tree. The only noise to be heard was the crunch of cracking peanut shells.
“The End…”, Nanny announced. With peanut shells about his feet, young Elliot yelled, “Thank you Nanny for the snack while you read the story!” As Nanny glanced up and made eye contact with them, Ella and Faith both saw it.
Have you ever dismissed or mistreated someone as incapable or “less than?” Pray now for forgiveness and repentance. Ask God if you should reach out to the person you hurt. Ask for His wisdom to show compassion, and love in the future.
Lord, Thank you for making all of us on purpose, for a purpose. I repent of the times I’ve judged people with different abilities. Please help me be more like-minded, sympathetic, compassionate, humble, and loving so I’ll see the value and abilities of others. Let my life preach of Your love. Amen.
Irish poet Oliver Goldsmith wrote “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” How can you show the love of Christ to others you interact with and those who observe your behavior?
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Valerie is a wife, mother, blogger, breast cancer survivor, and virtual assistant. After suffering years of debilitating anxiety, she learned that victory over anxiety comes only through surrender to Jesus. Valerie writes to point women to the Jesus as co-director of Candidly Christian, and as a freelance writer and editor. You can learn more about Valerie at ValerieRiese.com
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
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