"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Sentimental Surprise

I don't normally pass these feel good stories around but this one, sent to me by Art Pierce, is special.
In seems in 1986, a young man named Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from the University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure.

He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

And the moral is . . .

56 comments:

Wade Burleson said...

It is always a mistake to expect gratefulness for doing a good deed - just do it (Nike).

Anonymous said...

The convention of my youth is not the convention of my old age.

Belief Matters said...

Good one Wade!

Only By His Grace said...

Don't help or trust Republicans.

Phil

Wade Burleson said...

That's funny Phil.

rosemarie said...

Nice guys finish smashed.

A Simple Student @ SWBTS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindon said...

No good deed goes unpunished? :o)

Rex Ray said...

And they hung him on a cross.

Anonymous said...

don't take animal advice from a guy named Mbembe

NativeVermonter said...

Oh, what's all the tusk about anyway?

CB Scott said...

The moral of this story is that one must never go into the jungle, the street or a cage unarmed.

Long live the NRA.

:-)

cb

tbd said...

The bigger dumbo wins.

Bob Cleveland said...

or ... maybe they DO forget.

Anonymous said...

Just because you think you identify with someone, doesn't mean they will not crush you.

or

Out of the same trunk come praise and crushing.

Robert

Glen Alan Woods said...

Horton only wanted to protect Whoville....

Turretinfan said...

Good fences make good neighbors.

but seriously - ouch! That story was a like a Jolt Cola (R) in the morning.

OC Hands said...

The elephant was the victor because he played his trump...

Could be the elephant was warning him to stay away. Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel could be a train.

M. Steve Heartsill said...

Peter Corneille said, "If anyone wants to know what elephants are like, they are like people only more so." Who among us hasn't been crushed to death by a person we thought a friend?

Anonymous said...

Moral is: while most just sit on this side of the fence and admire the elephant, unless you are one of them, you will get in touble when you dare to step in the same area and take a good look.
John Daniels

Anonymous said...

This is why there is only one episode of "The Elephant Whisperer" on the National Geographic channel.

Trip Rodgers

volfan007 said...

the moral of the story is to not get so close to elephants? they are big and can hurt you? is that right?

or, is it that big churches will step on you?

or, is it that the sbc is so big that they are like a wild elephant?

or, is that the pre-79 sbc was an elephant that needed help, but after helping it....years later... it has changed and will step on you? like, removing you from a committee, or kicking you out of a school, or not letting you be a missionary, or something like that?

please, please, please tell us what the moral of this story is. we are all anxiously waiting to hear.

david :)

Bruce said...

David,

Me thinks Wade might have hit a nerve with a harmless story.

Alan Paul said...

Observe the elephant from afar as he throws his considerable weight around, destroying everything in his wake around. Warn everyone around you to stay away from him. Tell them not to get involved or they'll smashed to bits by the unmoving and unforgiving force of the elephant's will.

But take heart, eventually, the elephant will die and it will be safe again.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

The moral of this story is that the elephant was saying if you had left me alone in the Jungle, I wouldn’t be here in a Cage.
I am one of God's Creations and he will care for me.

In His Name
Wayne

Wayne Smith said...

David / Volfan007,

This comment shows just how Low and Hatefull You David are. As a Pastor you bring Disgrace to your position. You are what the ones for Reform and Accountibility are against. . Jesus was always having to address the Legalist and Pharisees and that is what your Kind ARE.

In His Name
Wayne

Anonymous said...

"Of course, in Alabama the Tuscaloosa, but that is entirely ir-elephant to what I was talking about." (Groucho Marx)

volfan007 said...

bruce,

no, didnt you see my little smiley face? :)

wayne,

God bless you, bro. you seem to have a lot of hate and anger issues. may the Lord set you free.

david

Bruce said...

David,

I did see the smiley face. But a biting snippy comment with or without a smiley face is still a biting snippy comment.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

When are you going to finish publishing the 7th part on a Biblical Primer on Women in Ministry?

Frank (or Chip) said...

...I think my name is Mbembe.

Dave Miller said...

"Satan has used our incessant bickering over non-essentials to promote his last great mission on earth—to keep lost people lost."

One of Ed Stetzer's theories on why statistics demonstrate the SBC is now in decline.

Also, please note interchange above between Volfan, Wayne and others.

Maybe Ed is onto something.

Dave Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Miller said...

I was deeply grieved when I checked snopes.com and found this to be an urban legend dating back to a children's story (gross children's story, eh?) from 1977.

However, finding that it is an urban legend, I wonder Phil, if Al Gore could have created it?

Anonymous said...

Volfan,

The tone of your comment followed by the smiley face caused me to reflect upon Proverbs 26:18-19. "Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives a neighbor and says 'I was only joking!'"

WTJeff said...

Volfan,

Have you ever thought about just reading one of Wade's post and taking it at face value? There's not an ulterior motive waiting around every corner.

Jeff

J.D. Rector said...

Unique story here. Nonetheless, being a proud graduate of Auburn University, I've been told that's what the "Tide" is going to do my Tigers next November in Tusk-a-loser...
War Eagle now and always!!
J.D.Rector

M. Steve Heartsill said...

J.D.,

Speaking as a part of the Crimson Nation, I would remind you that this blog is not the place for such foul, unchristian, and vulgar language as you have just used in your comment! I would encourage you to remove it immediately! :)

Steve said...

Nice pic. I do believe I dated that girl in high school. She was thinner then.

Joe W. said...

And the moral of the story is... if you jumb the railing at the elephant display you get "barred" from the zoo... you may also have a "smashing" good time.

Joe W. said...

Sorry... should be "jump" the railing.

Anonymous said...

Moral: People show love in different ways. The Elephant should have read "The five love languages." Hugs are acceptable, but there is a limit.

Also, it reminds me of the phrase, "We love you, BUT...."

ml said...

He who trumpets the loudest smashes the hardest

ml said...

Please dont tell me this is where grace and truth to you has not jumped the shark but jumped the elephant fence. A new historical moment that all blogs in the future will be judged against. When a blog has jumped the elephant fence they have seen their better days?

Only By His Grace said...

Dave,

Al is smart enough to do that, but I tend to think other wise. Al Gore is just not mean enough to write such an allegory. He doesn't know how to fight back. It is called the "Just Let Them Run Over Me With Nary a Word But a Smile" disease which he passed on to John Kerry. I just hope Hillary does not catch it. Obama has it bad. You know we Baptist like as lot of blood and gore.

This deep dark allegory has made me change my whole theological perspective on Mechanical Inspiration. This allegory demands that every word, sentence, paragraph and thought was mechanically controlled by God without even the hint of the author's own vocabulary, grammar or personality.

What an allegory-- an Elephant in Bush country attacking a black man who helped it and went to see it when it was behind iron bars.

Wow. Just gets me really deep down. I just hope the folks in Nashville, Salt Lake City and Sugar Land appreciate it, but they are such literalists.

Phil.

Elisabeth said...

Okay, Phil, you could sure see a lot of politics in a funny story! (But your reply was pretty good!)

Me, I think the moral of the story is, no matter what a situation looks like, still show a little common sense!

Dave Miller said...

Phil, I thought I remember you saying you were another one of us doggone dispensationalists!

We are literalists!

Belief Matters said...

Wade found this and though of you. Perhaps you ought to go to Justin Taylor's blog "Between Two Worlds." Here is one quote....

If the majority of your content is made up of disagreeing with people, you should question your motives for blogging.

Lin said...

If the majority of your content is made up of disagreeing with people, you should question your motives for blogging.

Thu Apr 24, 07:25:00 PM 2008

And here I thought that most of Jesus' teaching was about disagreeing with what most people believed. :o)

David said...

. . . Sometimes it really IS best to ignore the elephant in the room . . . or jungle, or zoo . . . anywhere . . .

Only By His Grace said...

Dave,

You are correct. I am a dispensationalist. I pray my priorities remain the Lord first and all (Matthew 6:33).

After the Lord, I honestly cannot tell whether I am a Baptist next or an American, or an American then a Baptist, and some place down the line is my political persuasion.

If I had another chance at Wade's story,

I would say in the world might makes right(relative ethics), but right is still right and wrong is still wrong no matter what might does (absolute ethics).

It is right to help and it is always wrong to hurt. I think maybe Mbembe wanted a I and you relationship, but the elephant only knew a I and it relationship. As long as we can objectify people we can hurt them not worrying much about it. It is when we see them subjectively we can no longer hurt. Reinhard Heydrich loved his four children subjectively, but the Jewish children in the death camps were only its.

Phil

Jesse said...

... the moral is - fences exist for a reason.

Belief Matters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wade are you pulling our leg (or is the elephant)?
Ken in Montana

B Nettles said...

Wow...that reminded me of the end of Electraglide in Blue.

Moral:
A "high-five" from an elephant will be your last.

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