FACETS OF AN ELEPHANT
“And that wasn’t the end of it. There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless.” — Yann Martel, Life of Pi
1 Corinthians 13
Gandhi relays the story of a group of blind men gathered around the elephant. Each touches a different part, one the tail, one the trunk, one the massive body, and another the tusk. Based on their tactile observations, someone asked them, “What is an elephant?”
The man touching the tail described it as something thin and circular with hair on the end.
Quickly the man holding the trunk interrupted. While he agreed with the circular description, he argued that it presented itself as something thick and muscular, capable of twisting, bending and grasping.
Half amused at his friends’ misdirection and half frustrated by their ignorance, the man with his hand on the body attempted to enlighten his companions. He described the elephant as something huge and leathery. It stood solidly immovable and towering so much so that he could not reach the top.
The other man, similarly annoyed with the erroneous descriptions provided his own, which of course conflicted with all of those previously supplied. He offered the description of something sleek and smooth, like glass or marble, round but curved on the end.
Were they wrong? Or correct but just incomplete?
What is love?
The Bible states that God is love, but our imperfect definition of God only further confuses us in our incomplete definition. Love does not always feel good, and it does not always comfort, and in its most raw form it forces me to stand vulnerable and unprotected. What is love when someone I love and who loves me confronts me with something painful and tells me what I do not want to hear? What is love when love is lost?
What is love? I offer no concrete definition, no delineation of clear description. I offer only advice as another blind man walking the perimeter of an elephant. Feel the facets, and open your mind to believe that initial thoughts and previously held notions, while true, do not constitute the whole?
What is love?
What aspects of love have you experienced?
What aspects do you doubt because you have not experienced them personally?
© Revolworks 2006