If you’ve seen the movie Horton Hears a Who!, you’d know who I mean by the Whos.
For the unenlightened, the Whos are the people of Whoville, who live in the world that is on a tiny speck floating around the jungle that is found by Horton the elephant.
How small is the speck? It’s so small, that it fits into one tiny pixel of the centre of the smallest flower, such as the wild daisies that grow up amongst the grass in spring.
And the Whos are even smaller, being members of a little village dwelling on that minuscule speck.
It is Horton, the faithful elephant who never forgets, who hears a cry of distress from the speck as it’s flying along toward certain destruction, rescues it and brings it to safety, amid all manner of taunts and opposition.
The central theme of the story hangs on the line uttered by Horton – “A person’s a person, no matter how small”. In both the film and the original book that it’s based on, this carries the moral and universal message of appreciating people and their individual values, regardless of who they are and where they come from.
But while out walking my dog one day, what really struck me as I took in the beautiful scenery of God’s creation around me was the realisation that this is also the message of love that God has spoken and is speaking to us.
Because in the real world that we live in, we are the Whos, living on a tiny blue speck that is our planet within an infinite cosmos.
Like the Whos of Whoville, we carry on living our ordinary lives everyday, doing whatever it is that is important to us, blissfully ignorant of and generally uninterested in the things transpiring in the greater world around us.
Even though everything as we know it to be may change completely in the next instant, and sometimes does, we continue to dust ourselves off and go on with our lives as we’ve always done.
We celebrate the resilience of our human spirit. We remain absorbed in the next big thing in our lives that we are planning and doing.
So absorbed, in fact, that when major signs and unusual circumstances start appearing around us in alarming frequency, we react little beyond a brief time of shock and confusion, and try to make the most of things or make sense of it based on what we already know and are familiar with.
All the while stubbornly refusing to hear or acknowledge the words of a minority who have stumbled upon the truth. Because what they are saying seems so foreign and loony to our human understanding, that it has to be baloney.
Except that it isn’t.
And it finally hits us one day, that the truth we’ve been brushing off in indifference and annoyance and flatly refusing to accept, is the one lifeline to preserving our very existence.
And we discover that long before we even came to realise how important this truth is in keeping our dreams and what and who we care about alive, there was already One who was working for us to do just that.
He had foreseen and protected us from the death and destruction we were heading towards, settled on a place where we could be eternally safe and free, and committed His life to getting us there.
Like Horton, Jesus left the comfort of His home to come and save us, enduring relentless mocking that His mission was pointless and He would never make it, suffering even the unbelief in Him of the ones He had come to save, and refusing to give in to temptation to just give up halfway and go home.
He fixed His eyes upon the cross, knowing that once He got there and finished His work and perfect sacrifice, we would be there safely with Him, made free to enjoy the fruits of His labour.
Like Horton, Jesus wasn’t satisfied with being 99.9% faithful. He stuck to being 100% faithful, and He still is.
To Him, we were never just nameless Whos on a little speck. Even though He’s so much mightier and greater than our minds can ever imagine or wrap around, being the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and even though there are literally trillions of galaxies and countless more planets just as there are flowers and specks, Jesus cared specifically for us.
Each and every single one of us.
He hears every single cry, He knows every one of our names, and He never forgets any of us.
No name is ever too difficult or obscure for Him, no dream ever too small or insignificant or past its time. Every person counts to Him.
2 Peter 3:9 says that “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
It doesn’t matter who you are and what you have done, or not done. He loved you to the point of giving His life for you, and He loves you even now, just the same.
You may think you’re a nobody or a has-been or a forgotten soul, but He knows you and He remembers you. You matter to Him.
Jesus has done the work. He has paid it all at the cross, for you and for me. He left heaven’s glory to come down to earth for us, to open a way for us to enjoy abundant life on earth and join Him one day in heaven.
All we need to do is receive – just call upon His name, and say yes to Him. You can rest assured that He will bring you there with Him safely.
Because when you encounter Jesus, you encounter grace.