My little two year old foster son loves elephants.
Quite frankly, this is an understatement. The little guy has a plastic elephant toy that he plays with daily. It takes many rides around the house in the back of the big yellow dump truck and has been known to sit next to him at the dinner table. He packs it around in his arms, sits it next to him on the couch for episodes of Barney, and builds it houses out of chunky legos. It’s all very sweet.
Of course, the fascination is beyond just the elephant toy. For example, one of his favorite songs is the elephant song that Barney sings:
She’s big and friendly. Elephant!
Wrinkled and gray. Elephant!
And with her great big feet, better get out of the way of
The elephant. Elephant!
Every sound in the jungle, the elephant hears
with her floppy king-sized elephant ears.
Got a trunk for a nose as long as a hose!
The elephant. Elephant! The elephant. Elephant!
I know the words quite well as we sing it rather often.
You’d be surprised at how many books there are with elephants at the library. Let’s just say there are enough that you can’t check them all out at one time. Try explaining that one to an elephant-obsessed two year old.
I’ve discovered something interesting in the past few weeks. Elephants, it seems, are just about everywhere. They turn up in the oddest places, like on cookie or cereal boxes at the grocery store, and TV commercials in the waiting rooms at doctor’s offices. Not a day goes by when my little guy doesn’t manage to find an elephant in hiding in the most unlikely places.
Still, I knew we had reached a new level of obsession when the little guy kept asking me for an elephant snack last week. “Elephant snack? What on earth is he talking about,” I wondered.
Desperate to stave off a complete melt-down, I looked deep into his eyes and asked, “I don’t know what you want. Can you show me?”
He grabbed my hand and walked me over to the kitchen counter. With a chubby finger, he pointed at the red can of mixed nuts. “Dat,” he said seriously.
He nodded solemnly.
“This isn’t an elephant.”
I could see tears forming. Carefully, I opened the lid and showed him the contents. “See … just nuts. Not elephants.”
He looked inside and then pointed to one of the nuts in the middle. “Dat. Edabant nut.”
I looked closely, confused at first … and then suddenly I saw it, too. The cashew nut had a shape that looked very similar to an elephant’s trunk. I laughed with delight, enjoying the new perspective.
To be honest, now that I’ve seen the elephant in the can of nuts, I don’t know if I will ever see a cashew the same way again. I’m sure that from now on in our house, cashews will be known as “edabant nuts.”
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ~Jeremiah 29:13
This past week, God has used our foster son’s obsession with elephants and his ability to find them everywhere, even in a can of mixed nuts, to remind me of an important truth.
God is all around me. I don’t have to look hard to see Him or His glory. In fact, if I just look, I will see the evidences of Him everywhere. Best of all, the more I look for Him, the more I will find Him.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. ~Psalm 19:1-4