In a small Indian village, there was a school for the blind. The students there had seldom ventured far from the school, for they were in an area that was surrounded by scrub and chaparral, and they did not like to wander into thorn bushes. The teachers were all excellent, and did a good job of preparing the young minds to read braille, to cook for themselves, and to eventually learn to become independent.
One hot summer day, the school was closed so that the teachers could go for a conference in the nearby city. The teachers had to walk several miles into the closest village, where they would catch a bus to the city, returning by nightfall.
That day, an elephant came out of the brush and wandered up to the school. The students were outside working in the garden, irrigating the fields of lentils and potatoes. Suddenly, the giant creature approached the blind students, who had never encountered an elephant, and stopped. The students’ fear gave way to curiosity, and they began to explore the elephant with their hands.
One student found the trunk, and said “This creature may be a snake, but its skin is much thicker, and it blows hot air into my face.”
Another student reached the tusks of the magnificent creature. He said “I don’t know for sure this is a living thing, for it seems to be made of some sort of soft, slippery stone. It pulls away from you and cannot be held safely”
Another student felt the front leg. “This creature is big around as a tree, it is not a snake, and it is not a rock. And if you are not careful, the creature can crush you.”
One student felt the ears and said “This creature is thin and flat. It is not snake-like, nor is it a tree, and it is definitely not made of stone. If you hold onto the creature, it will swat you in the face. It is not dangerous.”
Another student held the tail and said “I tend to agree with our first colleague that the creature is like a snake, but it does not blow hot air, it blows a foul wind, and occasionally drops heavy turds on your head.”
Yet another student was unable to find the creature, and told them all that it simply didn’t exist, they were all wrong.
Each was so convinced they were right, that they began to argue with the others, and focused on the differences in their description of the creature, rather than the similarities.
The youngest student came forward and held the tail, using it to climb the elephant and came to rest on its back. He rode the elephant away and left the students behind quarreling about the nature of the beast.
Had the other students let go of their part of the elephant, and explored different parts, they may have eventually realized they were all describing many aspects of a single being. Such is the Lord.
Had a teacher with vision returned before the creature left, she too might have been able to awaken the students to the truth of the great creature. Such is the Lord
The child rode away because he was brave enough to climb the mountainous beast and hold on, allowing it to take him to another destiny. Such is the Lord.