“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord…” (Jeremiah 29:11)
One of my favorite cartoon films is Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who because it has some wonderful simple truths within the storyline. I just love the quote which is repeated several times throughout the film, “A person is a person, no matter how small.”
In today’s culture, we are bombarded with the idea of who is valued and who is not. Those who are famous or have a lot of money or power seem to be held in the highest esteem, along with those who have a flawless physique.
Scripture provides a sharp contrast, however, as Jesus talks about the “least of those” among us (Matthew 25:40). I think about the elderly, the disabled community, the less fortunate, etc. Our society does not elevate them and sometimes even gives the impression that these individuals are a burden, unable to make meaningful contributions, and having no significant value.
On the contrary, there have been many personal stories which have inspired me and motivated me to action. Some include: Joni Eareckson Tada and her inspirational story of using her disability to touch lives; the double-amputee “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, who competed against able-bodied athletes from around the world in the London Summer Olympics. Another inspirational story which I love to hear over and over is about TEAM HOYT-a father and son team, Dick and Rick Hoyt. The son, Rick, almost died at birth and was left with severe disabilities. Doctors advised his parents to put him away in a hospital so they could go on with their lives. Fortunately, Rick’s parents did not overlook the value of his life. The Hoyts included Rick in all family activities and soon realized he was able to understand things. Combining advances in technology with sheer determination, Rick learned how to communicate. He went on to graduate from high school and even college. In spite of his significant physical limitations, Rick expressed a desire to help others and this desire led to what is regarded today as TEAM HOYT. This father and son duo has participated in races around the country for various causes as Dick pulls or pushes Rick, so that they may experience these challenges together. These stories inspire me!
It can be a challenge to break away from the mindset which is prevalent in our culture today when it comes to the value of human life. If we focus only on individuals who are presumed to hold high value from the world’s standards, we will miss out on so much. The Bible teaches that we ALL have been put here for a purpose and that each of us has gifts and talents. God has a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).
So, “a person is a person, no matter how small”! In other words, everybody is special in God’s eyes! If we cling to this simple truth, we can be a blessing to EVERYONE around us by demonstrating love, kindness and compassion. There are so many people out there who are dying to be noticed and appreciated. Who has God put in your life today?