I love elephants! They're stately creatures. When I catch a glimpse of them on Nature or Nova, people better not switch the channel. Their sense of family and loyalty is beautiful. But there is one elephant I can't stand.

The one "in the room."

You've been there. I know it. There's a difficult situation or a behind-the-scenes tension and NO ONE wants to even acknowledge the two-ton pachyderm sitting on the coffee table. (or in the meeting room... or the dinner table) It can be awkward when it's people you don't know. It can be intensely painful when it's people you love.

It's risky to be the person who asks the question everyone's wondering... the elephant hunter. You risk someone telling you it's none of your business. (and it might not be) You risk people becoming angry. (justified or not) You risk being absolutely in left field. (What a relief!) But is it worth the risk when it's people your heart is really rooting for? When your intention is for them to win?

We can't undo every tense and awkward moment we encounter. It's not always our "job." But what about when you acutely sense that there's pain, or anger, or grief, or sin in a sister's life... but she won't talk about the enormous, grey, African field mouse tagging along with her everywhere she goes. What should you do? Pretend? Pray? Point and shoot? (at the elephant- not your friend!)

Do you have elephant hunters in your life? People who love you so much that they ask the difficult questions... hold you accountable... comfort your hidden anguish? The ones that help hunt down the issue crowding your space? Or do you even want an elephant hunter near you?


Donna said...

I do have a few loving elephant hunters in my life (they know who they are). Occasionally, I am the hunter. I am much more comfortable acknowledging the elephant rather than faking I don't know its in the room. It is not always easy to be a hunter. It is not always fun when the elephant in my life is identified.

btalbott said...

this is great. I hope I can make the time to return often and keep up with all the topics!

Can we submit our own original posts? Or are we only allowed to leave comments in response?

The worst thing about elephants is that they really get in your way. It is impossible to completely ignore them. They are obviously there. And you can't just look through them, and often times they are hard to see around. They block your view and become a real nuisance. It all serves to block your true vision of the other person or persons involved. They must be dealt with in order to restore that vision and relationship.

HillsideWomen said...

Hey bt! I hope you can return often too. The forum is set up to respond and comment on a chosen topic. The conversation that ensues will hopefully better connect our community of women. And yes, you are so right!! Issues are easy to identify but not so easy to see around.

Tricia said...

As a matter of fact I finally do have an elephant hunter in my life. I love the hunter, but most of the time dislike it when he wants to talk about the elephant. Although when we are through discussing the elephant, it is has been either died or is wounded. Sometimes the elephant returns, but it is usually smaller and can be dealt with a little easier. Because I live with the elephant hunter it has become easier for me to be the hunter sometimes instead of being smothered by the elephants I need to talk about. God is good and works wonders through accounatabiltiy and communication when both people look to Him for guidance.