The words of Horton have resounded in my ears for days. These words aren't overly prophetic nor overwhelmingly inspiring. In fact, these words are quite simple. "A person's a person no matter how small." I don't think that size has anything to do with these words resounding in my mind. Instead it's the concept of personhood.
I received a call from our Jr. High director before a "really important" meeting. In my rush to the meeting I was almost rude. I sealed my fate in being late for the meeting as I stood still to hear the story of an old lady in a grocery store somewhere in Fergus Falls who had been witnessed to. In the checkout lane at the local super market a cluster of boyish Junior High students approached this lady and told her about Jesus Christ. Not to make light of the lady's reality of seeing Jesus soon, but she sounded old. Apparently this group of Junior High boys had a game-changing experience with her before they were "kicked out" of the store. The old lady said she couldn't remember their names but that she had been praying for them every day for the past 2 months since they shared Jesus with her.
I think the best part of this story is that I pictured these boys as a giant elephant in the super-store. I can imagine them bumping into the candy and rustling through the cash register all while offending everyone with their boistrous laughter and careless concern for those around them. However, I ponder the point when these boys spotted this old lady standing in the corner. For them I wonder if they approached it as a dare, as most Junior High students would, or as an honor and privilidge to have noticed a child of God.
I think the best part of Horton isn't that he fought for a people who aren't noticed. The characteristic that made Horton a game-changer was that he realized the concept of personhood. Personhood doesn't depend on size, level of development, environment, or even a degree of dependency. Instead personhood resides in the Creator. When we understand that everyone is made in God's image doesn't that change the way we interact with them?