We all know the saying “An elephant never forget.” Christ Lutheran Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, used this saying to their advantage to start a program of sending elephant stuffed animals to sick children in the hospital. Each elephant can be colored and written on by friends and family of the hospitalized child. Each elephant also comes with a book with the message that “an elephant never forgets, and God never forgets you.” In the cold and sterile and often chaotic environment of the hospital, the elephant stuffed animal provides comfort and encouragement and a feeling of home. Approximately 800 children have received Forget-Me-Not Elephants through the program (“Forget Me Not,” Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly, Summer 2017, p. 28).
This story touched my heart because one of my sister’s favorite stuffed animals was a hand-made elephant named Ellie that she received as a baby from my mom’s best friend from high school. As the years went by, Ellie’s ears frayed at the edges, her nose was torn and stuffing pooched out from the sides. She even went through the wash a few times (sometimes by accident), which cleaned her up a bit. But nothing would stop my sister from keeping Ellie by her side when she went to bed at night—even into high school. Now Ellie has a special place in my sister’s daughter’s room.
My sister never forgot Ellie, and God has never forgotten her throughout all the years of her life.
What is your Ellie? Your stuffed animal or special keepsake that brings you comfort, perhaps even now as an adult?
Tying the feelings of comfort, security, love and remembrance to God is something we always need to keep intact whether we have a special stuffed elephant to remind us of that or not.
No matter what trials and tribulations you are going through, you have a God who is by your side day and night to be your source of strength and your friend to lean on through thick and thin. Grab hold of him and hold him tight!