Thursday, December 08, 2005

At the End of an Elephant's Nose

Last night my boys and I watched "The Grinch Whole Stole Christmas" (cartoon version). After the show, another Dr. Suess cartoon came on. It was called "Horton and the Who". Basically it is about an elephant named Horton who found a speck of dust that was talking. The speck of dust turned out to be a planet where the "Who's" lived.
The problem was that the Who's didn't believe that they were not alone. Only one progressive thinking Who believed that they were a part of something bigger. He made contact with Horton and was saddened because no one would believe that Horton existed. They believed that their speck of dusk was the only thing in the universe and no other force existed outside of themselves. On the other side of the problem was Horton. In Horton's world, everyone thought he was crazy because they didn't see the spect of dust at the end of his nose. They didn't see why Horton was so concerned about this speck of dust.
At the climax of this profound story, everyone discovered that a whole world existed at the end of the elephant's nose. Sometimes I feel like the Who that knew Horton was there but no one else would believe. At other times I feel like the typical "Who" and I believe that somehow this whole thing is about me and I doubt if Horton (or God) is there at all. And at other times I feel like Horton.... like someone trying to convince other Christians that a whole world exists outside of the "bubble".
Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz, says that he doesn't really feel that most people can be convinced that God does or does not exist (at least intellectually speaking). We either believe or we don't. We can change our beliefs but it usually happens because of something unexplainable.
I just feel like the responsibility is not in convincing the "Whos" that God exists. (Please allow me to switch analogies) The responsibility lies in convincing the elephants that the "Who's" exist. A whole world of people that do not believe and may never believe. But our responsibility to them is to protect them, to love them, to fight for them like Horton did. I pray that we can see the "world at the end of the elephant's nose".


~Dallas said...

Well first off Ryan the correct title is "Horton hears a who!" Just thought I would comment with the little knowledge of literature I have.

Ryan said...

My apologies. I didn't anticipate this post being read by literary geniuses. All the more reason to be diligent in my extensive research of Dr. Suess.

I won't edit the post just so you can go on record as discovering the error.