Gerard and I posted a special “thankfulness” episode for the Season 3 finale of Marriage is Funny this week, and it prompted me to pull up a VERY old blog post of mine from back in 2008.
I thought it would be fun to share the original with you here because we’ve been feeling SO grateful for the Great Love in our lives lately, and we’ve got a lot of water buffaloes to thank if we’re going to get to everyone by the end of this year. ;)
Read the essay below to find out what I mean, and then listen to Episode 54 to hear how we’ve seen this truth come to life in our marriage.
Adapted from “Just Call Me Baby Water Buffalo”
Written for The Lucky Stone Blog on March 31, 2008
When G and I walked into Jacob’s Well yesterday, we were overwhelmed by the sight of babies in extravagant white dresses and dozens of visiting extended family members clutching digital cameras to their chests.
We quickly realized that it was a mass baby dedication, and I’ll admit that we may have exchanged an eye-roll and whispered a wish that we had opted for splitting an omelette at the brunch place down the street instead.
For someone who is in NO hurry to have children of my own, I DO like to take a gander at the occasional infant so we decided to stay put and I was pretty instantly smitten by the miniature tuxedos and tutus.
Who can possibly resist those tiny ribbon-bows stuck to a bald head with dabs of honey?! Pretty dang cute if I must say.
After the ceremony was finished and the families had returned to their seats, the guest speaker got up and began to talk about what the words of our collective prayers had actually meant. (The podcast of the sermon can be downloaded here.) What I really want to share with you is the YouTube video that he showed us to illustrate his point.
It is pretty long (8 whole minutes!) so for time’s sake, I would advise that you fast forward to 4:25 in order to be able to see the most important part. The video has gotten over 78 million hits on YouTube (was at 30 million when this post was originally written 8 years ago), and has also won the YouTube Best Eyewitness Award.
It is amateur footage taken by someone on an African safari, and the first part is pretty gory (especially for someone with the Mercy Curse) so I will just tell you what happens up until the 4 1/2 minute point.
There is a large herd of water buffaloes (easily over a hundred) walking along a river that is separating them from the safari group. As they move along, the person with the camera shows the viewers that they are unknowingly headed towards a pack of hungry lions. A baby water buffalo gets attacked by the lions and is dragged down to the edge of the water where they are presumably going to try to begin their feast. All of a sudden, an alligator (NO JOKE) comes up out of the water, grabs the baby WB, and tries to pull it down into the river. A game of tug’o’war ensues, but the lions win and the baby WB is dragged back up on to the shore. Thank GOD the speaker explained this part to us instead of showing it, because I can barely type it without my eyes welling up with tears.
*** Note to self: No African safaris for me. I think I love animals a little TOO much.***
So, now check out the rest of the video. (Mom, in order to get the video to the right spot, drag the little circle-button across the “time line” until the time read-out underneath the bottom right corner of the video screen says 4:25. I know you can do it.)
The WB herd encircles the pack of lions (who now have the WB baby) and begin closing in on them. When I first watched this, my thoughts were exactly that of one of the women behind the camera…
“It’s too late!”
The WBs get closer and closer to the lions and sure enough, they chase the predators off one by one. One of the lions even appears to get impaled by the horns of an angry WB (probably the Mama). After most of the lions have run off and abandoned their dinner, the unthinkable happens… the baby water buffalo starts to move and is actually able to stand up and quickly make its way into the center of the herd where it becomes completely surrounded by the adults. The WB’s don’t stop until all of the lions are chased away, and only when they are sure that they have everyone, do they resume their travels.
As the video ended, I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I immediately realized the relevance of the video to the point that our speaker had been trying to make. He likened our church to the herd of water buffaloes, who were mercilessly intent on protecting their young at any cost… even if it meant putting themselves in danger. He explained that one of the main reasons we dedicate and baptize babies at Jacob’s Well, is because we want to actively show our commitment to raising, praying for, and loving each of the children that are a part of our herd.
Think about it. If it had just been the Mama and Papa water buffalo, that little tyke would have been doomed. The adults had to rally together in order to save one who would be a part of their future herd.
The message made me think about my own water buffalo family. I mean, my parents are a couple of pretty tough cookies, but who knows where I would be without the rest of the gang… I am forever thankful for those who have impacted my life by loving, teaching, and guiding me through this world. I am SO fortunate to have been blessed with family and friends who have treated me like a child of their own, and even though I live far away from almost all of them now, I continue to be encouraged to know that I could call on them for love or prayer or help at any time.
To my own water buffaloes: Thank you for helping mom and dad to fight off my “lions.” You have shown me so much love, and you have taught me an important lesson in what it means to be a part of a herd. I write all of this as a tiny tribute and a token of gratefulness. You know who you are, and for everything you’ve done, I’ll love you forever.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friends! I’m so glad you’re here and I hope you have a great rest of the week!
Gorgeous table inspo shot above from my girl, Alicia.