Dancing with Elephants

Rachel is on tour in Southern Africa. She hopes to see elephants.

My Joyce and are reading Dancing with Elephants by Jerom Sawatsky.  Jerom helped us to recognize the elephants in our rooms and enjoy dancing with them instead of battling them.  Meet Jerom and get access to his books by clicking on Dancing.  Jerom maintains that life is an elephant, and certainty of death is another elephant we should learn to dance with.

Joyce is learning to dance with the elephant of arthritic pain; I am learning to dance with my weakening knees.  We have not yet finished reading Sawatsky’s book, but we know enough to recommend it. The last chapter we read introduced us to the vitamin “awe”.

Petunias on my back porch, visited by tiny pollinators

For years I have been in awe of the many kinds of pollinators: bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, butterflies, and moths that go about pollinating for the good of plants, animals, and humanity.  Only recently did I observe the tiny bees that visit the petunias on my back patio.  So I look at my petunias and take another dose of vitamin awe.

The story in the Genesis of the second day of creation provides a supply of vitamin awe. It is reported that God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them and it was so. . . . and God saw that it was good.” If the Genesis account of creation does not inspire the vitamin awe that satisfies your need, you may be awed by the possibility that  evolution began with the “big bang.”

Florida Beach Scene (from my collection of photos)

One day of  remembered “awe” moments began with an early Men’s Fellowship initiated by Pat, the chaplain of our Greencroft Unit.  We were to tell of memorable cars.  I recalled the years I had traveled the length of Florida, from the Keys, to Homestead and Miami, to Immokalee, to Sarasota and Tampa, to Tallahassee and Blountstown.  Now, I’m told that Florida is like a pond, after being swept with hurricane Irma’s winds.

This morning I read the on line edition of the Mennonite reporting on Mennonite communities the Puerto Rico and Florida in the aftermath of the hurricane.  Click here to get access to this late news from a Mennonite church perspective.  Anyone in the wake of a hurricane will benefit from Dancing with Elephants. 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 91 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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One Response to Dancing with Elephants

  1. Freda Zehr says:

    Martin, I can really identify with you and Joyce’s “elephants”! I too have to dance with some of the same. However, I must say that on the advice of some good people—not my doctor— I have been taking Tumeric with cumindin for about three months now and after about six weeks, I really noticed a difference in my knee pain. i was having to get those shots every couple months and I could hardly wait until it was time–but I have not felt the need for one since I am on this. I also lost over twenty pounds since moving here and I have to walk a lot more, so I am not sure exactly why it is so much better, but I am not going to stop the turmeric to try to find out! Oh btw, I LOVE those petunias!

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