Snyder, George L Snyder, Lenore Snyder, God, ethics, morals, religion

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II

Mother Teresa


          She was given no special gift, only a task.

          God tormented her over and over, telling her what she was to do.

          God gave her little to work with.

          God never let her rest until she started to serve.

          Then God ignored her.

          God never spoke to her again.

          God left her alone to do her work.

          It tormented her to her soul that God stopped speaking.


And still she serves.




And, God speaks to me:


          “Whatever you do for the least of mine, you do for me.




When you see one of God’s creations, in need, what is your response?


How do you fulfill this command?


Is this only those you feel comfortable helping?


Does this also include an injured animal?


What about the person that is so disgusting?


What about the person who is evil?



There is the expression that says that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it might very well be a duck. In that case, I think that Mother Teresa might very well have been a Christian. After all, what is a Christian if not one who to the best of their ability does what Christ would have you do? What is a Christian if not one who does everything in their power to carry on the work of Christ? Is not one who follows the commands (requests) of Christ, worthy of being called a Christian? Teresa lived a life closer to that suggested by Christ than anyone else I know. So, in that respect, it walks like a duck and talks like a duck. It probably is a duck. She probably was a Christian. In fact she probably was a better Christian than you or I. I am not saying that she was perfect. No one is perfect. I am just saying she was closer to the will of God than you or I.


            We are dealing with a double-edged sword here. If it does not walk like a duck, if it does not quack like a duck, is it a duck?


            If you live in a luxurious home and drive a fancy car and eat the best food, are you living the life of Christ? Did Christ live in a fancy place? Did Christ travel first class? Did Christ eat better than the poor around him? Yes, the man Jesus appreciated nice things. He enjoyed a good meal at a nice table. But that was not the way he lived. Jesus lived the life of a poor man. There is no indication that he even had his own home. The stories indicate that he had friends and family that took care of his physical needs. The stories indicate that someone even loaned him a ride when it was needed. The stories indicate that sometimes people would invite him to a nice dinner. But, he did not live that way. How can you claim to be a man of God if your own comfort takes precedence over the survival of your neighbor? If it does not walk like a duck or quack like a duck, perhaps it is not a duck.


            If you say that you are a duck, you may think you believe it, but first check to see how you walk. First check to see if you quack. First check to see if you take to the water. If you are not ready to swim in the water then you might not be a duck. If you don’t walk the walk of a duck, you probably are not a duck. If all you do is quack, you probably are not a duck.



             If you are in a bank and a gunman comes in, shoots a couple of people, then points the gun at you, you believe he just might be capable of shooting you too. Now, that is faith. Your faith in the possible results of disobeying that gunman is stronger than your faith in the possible results of disobeying God. Read that last sentence again. Do you find it easier to believe an evil person than to believe God?


            When the command is to do for these the least of God’s people, why do I continue to disobey? Why do you continue to disobey? How can we continue this inaction?


             Every action, every inaction, brings you closer to God or separates you further from God.


            Heaven is being close to God. Heaven is being one with God.

            Hell is being far from God. Hell is being separated from God.


            Are you that evangelist in an expensive suit who fleeces gullible people out of their money? People who only want to be reassured that God loves them. People who only want to be reassured that God forgives them. People who only want to be reassured that God welcomes them to Heaven.


            Have you ever sold something that really was less value than you received? Did it give you a sense of satisfaction to know that you cheated the buyer? Did it really? Did you really sell your soul for a few dollars? You cannot convince me that cheating another moves you closer to God.

            Always give value for value. If there is any question, then give more.


            Have you ever received an extra dime when someone gave you change? “It is not much.” “They will never know.” “It is just my good luck and their bad.”

            Did you really just sell your soul for a dime? Satan does not tempt you with a million dollars. He tempts you with a dime.

            You did. You sold your soul for a dime.

Not long after writing the above, I received an extra dime in my change. Did God play a cruel joke on me? A test? I had no choice. I had to bring it to the attention of the cashier. I gave the dime back. After all, I had just written about that.

When you use your money to buy a fancy car, when you use your money to build a palace to live in; does that bring you closer to God? Or does the comfort, luxury, and ease get in the way of moving closer to God. If you took that same money and bought a reasonable car, and lived in a reasonable home, and used the rest to help one or more who are less able, would that - - - ? ? ?


             As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good - - except God alone. You know the commandments: `Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Mark 10:17-25


            Did Jesus just give this man the price to Heaven? Can you buy your way into Heaven? The price is not a variable. The price is set. I suppose the same price is valid for you. I suppose the same price is valid for me.




            God does not send you to heaven or hell. You go there yourself. You choose your own path. You walk your own path.                                                        see also Luke 14:33




And God speaks to me:


When you learn what My will is,

          there will be no more pain.

When you learn what My will is,

          there will be no more hunger.

When you learn what My will is,

          there will be only love.

When you learn what My will is,

          there will be only good.

When you learn what My will is,

          no innocent will ever again be harmed.




            We cannot each of us cure all the ills of the world. There are many things that require more resources than you or I have. There are wars that we are able to influence only by the possible selection of our leaders. That means that if you have the right to elect your leaders, you have the responsibility to vote as intelligently as possible.


            We can do many small things. When you shop for food, buy a few extra things to send to a food pantry. Help where you can. Serve your neighbors who are in trouble. Help, serve, love. Perform a small act of kindness.


            You can change the world by just one small act. Even though your small act seems to disappear in the extreme needs that are all around you, your small act added to the small acts of others add up to address the needs of the world.


            You can change the world. At least for a short time for that one person who benefits from your small act. Do you need to sell all that you have and give to the poor? That is the act of those who are already approaching perfection. A final act of one who already is doing everything else. I am not there yet. I am still at the place where I can only do one small thing.


            If you do one small thing, then another, then another, then perhaps someone else will do one small thing then another small thing. Perhaps more and more people will start doing small thing after small thing. Perhaps a small butterfly flapping his wings in a far corner of the world can make a change. Perhaps you can make a change and the world will be better. Maybe just a little bit better, but better.







So - maybe - in India,

for that leper,


I did


what God wanted me to do.


Maybe just to do one small act of kindness

is all I was supposed to do.


I still don’t think it was enough.


What do you think?




            So now that you are doing God’s work, you may discover that the elephant that was just standing there, looking at you, is now walking by your side. Just imagine what you can do. Just imagine your accomplishments now that you are working with the elephant and not against the elephant. For an example, look at the work done by one woman, Mother Teresa.


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