On Saturday mornings when our children were little, we would listen to Christian children’s programs like Focus on the Family Odyssey series and Jungle Jam and friends. It gave me an appreciation for telling good stories. Enjoy this one about my little friend, Eli.
The Lizard of Renown, Eli
Eli was just a normal lizard, in fact, he felt he was too normal. He was just average. Physically, he looked just like all of his brothers, sisters and cousins. Except for size, they all looked pretty much the same. Each had four feet with claws and their skin was dry and scaly. Their blood is cold, but this made them adapt to living in both hot or cold temperatures very easy. Some of his cousins could change colors easily and would blend right into their background.
Yes, Eli knew he was normal, but he believed he had a great destiny. All of his cousins would laugh to hear Eli talk of his big plans.
“Where did you ever come up with these big ideas?” they would ask.
Eli responded, “From my maker.” His cousins laughed mockingly.
“Have you ever seen him?” they taunted him. “Do you even know what he looks like?” Others snickered, as they whispered to one another, “He doesn’t even know about the birds and the bees.”
But Eli replied, “I have never seen him, and I don’t know what he looks like. But I do know what he sounds like when he talks to me.”
This made one cousin even more cynical, “Oh, He talks to you…are you hearing voices again?”
Eli interrupted before he went any further, “Not voices, just one voice.” Then he added, “would you like me to teach you how to hear him?”
Now they all began to chant together,
“Eli, Eli so small and bright
Hopes to do what is right
Eli, Eli soon you will see
somebody special? you’ll never be”
Eli did not respond to their songs nor their talk, for he was resolute in what he had heard. It was just 4 weeks ago when he had gone for a walk among the plants just after a spring rain. He loved the fresh smells and tasting the clean water that lay puddled on leaves and flower pedals. On this particular day the sun wash shining so clearly and seemed to be calling him to stay and basque in its sunlight.
He sang softly to himself, “Lovely day when it rains, makes me think of God’s ways, the beauty He made, we each enjoy. I’ll run and sing, jump and dance, all because I am a boy” As he was trying hard to come up with another verse, he heard this still small voice. Not out loud, but strong enough he could not deny that it was not just his own thoughts.
“Eli, I love you. I will honor you as you have honored me,” said God.
“But I am just a little lizard. I can’t run fast or do anything spectacular or famous. How could you use me?” responded Eli.
God continued, “I just want you to remember that I have something very special for you to do.”
Eli felt all peaceful inside. He had just heard from his maker. In his youthful zeal, Eli made no small commotion sharing how God revealed that he had a special plan for him. He bragged to his brothers and sisters. He bragged to his parents. He even told his granddaddy about the special words that God had shared to him.
At first, others were interested in Eli’s story, because they had never heard of another lizard who had talked with God. They became less interested, when he said it was not an audible voice. Since none of the brothers and cousins had ever claimed to hear God for themselves, they became even less convinced that God had actually spoken to Eli. Many lizards believe that God just got everything started in creation and them removed himself to just let life and death happen. But, Eli knew that God was real and that God had indeed spoken to him.
As the spring time approached the lizards were given much more freedom to move around for exercise and to find food. Most enjoyed eating insects, and playing hide and seek to see who could be the best at camouflage. Eli seemed to win the most times at blending in and he was happy to be the best at something.
The garden area in which they lived grew larger and more beautiful each year. The humans took great care over the vegetation and trees and also seemed to enjoy its beauty. All lizards knew how to hide when the humans came. Even though they could not hurt the humans, they could feel that most humans were uncomfortable with a lizard that got to close.
Eli was becoming more bold in his ability to “blend in”. He practiced on trees, leaves, rocks and even on the side of buildings. Except for the occasional head bobbing or push ups that he felt compelled to do, he would remain incredibly still in order to “mask” himself. One person after another would walk right by Eli, and never notice him there.
They other lizards warned him not to become too brave. They had all heard stories of the abuse the lizards had received from being captured by children. Some came back with tails broken off and others never returned. Of those who did return, they were never the same. The event brought so much pain to these returned lizards, that they moved slower and traveled less.
Eli wanted to obey and not travel to far, but he felt brave inside himself and could see many opportunities within the walls of the buildings. He saw many flies entering and knew that there was a good possibility of unlimited food supply.
One day, he climbed through a window and watched all of the “action” . Many people were coming and going. Most of the activity centered around one individual. People would come to him, talk for a few moments and then leave. Then others would come and talk with this man and then leave. Others brought him food and drink. This made Eli very interested as he saw flies gathering around the food also.
Every move he made was slow and calculated as to not bring attention to himself. As a last resort he knew that he could run to escape if he needed to. Closer and closer he moved toward the plates of food in order to capture the unsuspecting flies. He was very close to the man.
And then it happened, the man in the chair turned and stared right at Eli, At first, he became incredibly still. Maybe the man is just looking in his direction and Eli is just blending in? But Eli felt that the man was somehow, just staring at him. The man made no movements to harm or threaten Eli. He just watched. Eli almost felt safe as the man watched him. In the next moments Eli had a fly land near him. He tried to stay still, but his natural instincts caused his tongue to quickly reach out and snatch the fly. Still the man made no attempts to bring any harm to him. He just watched and observed.
The man turned to one of his attendants and clapped his hands three times. The attendant bowed his head and quickly left the room. Within moments, the man returned with a big book in his hand. He also carried writing utensils in the other hand. He carefully opened the book which was shaped more like a scroll. The man then spoke out loud.
“Today, I have witnessed another incredible insight in all that God has made”, he said. “I must capture this moment in the same way that the lizard on the wall has captured its prey.”
The man began to write
There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:
Ants—they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer.
Rock Badgers–they aren’t powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks.
Locusts—they have no king, but they march in formation.
Lizards—they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings’ palaces.
“Yes,” he laughed to himself. “You see that lizard on the wall. Even a small child could catch him easily if they desired. But he has been able to find his way into the palace undetected. Not even my most trusted guards noticed him entering into my chamber. I, King Solomon, have captured this moment. What this lizard has done shall be remembered throughout time.”
Eli, was shocked! God had kept his word to Eli. This man had written about Eli in this scroll, Eli knew that it was more than just a journal…it was holy. Not that the King was holy, but the writing in the book was. The same God the man talked about whispered to the lizard again, “you will be remembered for all of time. You are blessed little one.”
Eli returned many times to watch the King enter more words and thoughts on the scroll. The King had given orders for no one to harm the little lizard. Eli did not brag this time about his events to the others. It was the place where he knew God was present. And that is where Eli always wanted to be.
You can find the words that Solomon penned in the bible in the book called Proverbs, Chapter 30:24-28. Take some time to ponder other insights from Solomon whom the bible records as the wisest man who ever lived. God has a place for you, no matter how insignificant you may feel.
Blessings Love y’all