Can a bicycle chain hold an elephant in place? Yes it can!
Josh McDowell tells a story about a chained elephant which reminds us of some adults who are chained to their horrific past of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Josh writes:
“We’re like a circus elephant tied down by a bicycle chain. We ask how one small chain could hold a powerful elephant. The trainer explains that the chain doesn’t hold him; it’s the elephant’s memory that keeps him from trying to escape.
When the elephant was very young, he didn’t have the strength to break the chain or pull free. He learned then that the chain was stronger than he was and he hasn’t forgotten that. The result is that the elephant, now full-grown and powerful, remembers only he tried to break the chain and couldn’t. So, he never tries again. His memory, not the chain, binds him. Of course, occasionally an elephant does discover he can break the chain and from then on his keeper has trouble controlling him.”
Help the abused person break free from his or her horrific past by (1) listening to the person’s story. Gregory Richards says, “Such a moment calls for you to set everything else aside, listen, believe, and care.” (2) Help the person connect with a counselor and support group. For referrals, check with local doctors, ministers, volunteer organizations, telephone books.
For more advice on how to care for a person who has been abused, please type ABUSE in the search box in the upper right corner.