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

The Elephant Speaks
One Man’s Elephant book II


            I had been making a chess set. The pieces were about one and a half inches in diameter, the King was six inches tall, and the pawns were about three inches tall. Black locust is a nice wood to work with because it has such beautiful grain. It is a very hard wood so I have to sharpen my tools more often, but it is worth it.


            I found a small piece of wood from a black locust tree. It was just the perfect size to make a pawn. I put it on the lathe to get the diameter down to where I could start to shape the pawn. It was about the right size and I stopped the lathe to see what it looked like. It was then that I noticed an insect had made a home inside this piece of wood and the place where the top of the pawn would be was where she had nested. I decided to complete the piece. When I was finished, I was amazed by the beauty of the completed piece. Without the flaw it would have been beautiful, but the character added by the insect made it fantastic. Now I must search for more pieces of flawed wood so I can complete the set.

And God speaks to me:

          “I do not create flaws. I create differences. They are there to add life and character and beauty to My creation.

            Do you have a flaw? Is some physical characteristic about you not perfect? Remember, perfection is internal not external. If all things were exactly the same, there would be no beauty. I had chosen to work with this type of wood because of the differences in the grain that showed in the completed pieces. The insect was there to nest and have a family. Then she moved on leaving only the empty nesting place she had used. She really had no intention to add beauty to my finished chess piece.

            If you make a mistake, can you use it to make yourself better? Can you use a flaw to add beauty? Can you be better by being flawed?

            I say, “Yes!”

            I have a nephew who is blind. He has perfect pitch. His singing voice is absolutely beautiful. He puts together and edits sound tracks for radio and TV productions. When you listen to something he has produced, you will be amazed at how real it sounds. The sound puts you right there. Some people would say that his blindness is a flaw. I say it gives him an especially wonderful talent. A talent those of you who can see may appreciate but never duplicate.


            Our blind men who went to see the elephant had a view of the elephant different from yours or mine. Does our ability to see interfere with our view of the elephant?

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