African proverb, Elephant, Mother’s Day, Power of Love, Sermon, Truth principles

The Power of a Mother’s Prayer: Answered via elephant’s trunk

As parents and guardians, we often believe that we know what’s best for our children. You’re on the right track if are responsible, loving, nonjudgmental, generous, open and truthful parents.

You’re off track if you have those same qualities and your children are young adults who decide on their careers and life passions, sans parental advice. If you’re a parent like me and guessed what each of my children would do after they left home, you are likely surprised when you watch their deepest desires come to fruition and are not quite what you envisioned. Yet, it is all well with our souls.

“It may seem you are over your head,” Rev. JC said, pointing to the large screen behind the pulpit.

The image showed the tiny trunk of a baby elephant who was in waters over his head while closely following his mother.

“When you are moving through muddy waters, someone has gone before you … keep moving forward,” said Rev. JC aka my daughter, Jocelyn Cheryl Kimbrough.

Her sermon or “Journey in truth,” was previewed by one of my favorite songs by the late Luther Vandross. Vandross’ song was appropriately the background music for the beautiful images of mother-and-baby animals who led the congregation to “The Power of Motherhood” message.

Rev. JC continued: “We are all uniquely equipped with the resources” necessary to live our best lives. Amen is what I was thinking while rapidly reflecting upon Jocelyn’s colorful life that kept me in constant prayer and humility.

There she was: Standing before the congregation at the Living Truth 365 church in Marietta, Ga. My mother, her grandmother and I were seated on the second row. Jocelyn’s remarks were peppered with humor, Biblical references and “Jocisms” as I refer to her wisdom.

I learned lots from her sermon including the elephants’ way of successful living. Elephants travel in herds that can number up to 25. Women are the bosses and the male elephants remain with their mothers for about 15 years and then join the male elephants for the remainder of the young elephant’s development. Elephants cannot jump but they are fast movers. Finally, the elephants are pregnant 22 months!

“The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.” — Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV, NET, Araimaic).

Indeed. The challenges I had in my pregnancy with Jocelyn and twin John Charles, paled in comparison to their joyous births. That beautiful baby girl who was born with a headful of thick, curly black locks, erased all memories of the heavy weight of carrying two 9-pound fraternal twins. Her 8:27 pm arrival was 2 minutes behind her brother’s. Her sermon reminded me of her little elephant-like trunk following closely to make it through the murky process to begin another phase of her living.

Blessings Rev. JC. Another great Mother’s Day gift.

Ann L. Wead Kimbrough is an accomplished educator, award-winning financial journalist, author, special events leader, mentor and prolific contributor to select global and domestic non-profit causes. Her blog topics include travel, history, humor, education, career, family, journalism and ‘thought you should know’ subjects.

African proverb

Leadership is like an egg held in fingers: ‘The Paradox of Power’

The strong hand with fingers firmly, yet gently holding an egg, is at the root of an African proverb that speaks to how chiefs or those in authority are reminded on how to treat human life.

This fine gift was given to me via a relative from a Haitian visitor to the United States. He provided our family with the wood carving and offered his native interpretation:

  • Notice the perch of the egg — it is angled upward to receive the universe’s blessings.
  • It is held firmly in the fingers to symbolize the steadiness and yet its hold being just right. That is to ensure that the egg will not shatter at the hand of its holder.
  • The egg, therefore, requires attention. It cannot be ignored.

In 2006, U.S. President Barack Obama visited his ancestral home in Kenya and acquired the symbol of the man’s hand holding the egg, or the “Paradox of Power” wooden desk statue. It is believed that this monkey wood carved feature symbolized President’s Obama’s presidency.

What does my Haitian sculpture symbolize in your life?

A future blog will highlight the importance of the “OneEgg” program that feeds schoolchildren in Musanze, Rwanda.