Listening On A Speck Of Dust


When The Small Voice Of God Calls Out Do We Hear It?

by Eric Elkin

On this mountain, the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
        a rich feast, a feast of choice wines, of select foods rich in flavor,
        of choice wines well refined.
He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
    the shroud enshrouding all nations. He will swallow up death forever.
— Isaiah 25: 6-7ff

“On the 15th of May, in the Jungle of Nool, In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool, He was splashing…enjoying the jungle’s great joys…When Horton the elephant heard a small noise.” So it was in the cool pool in the Jungle of Nool, Horton the elephant discovered the people of Who-ville. 

Horton could not see this tiny village. He only heard their cry for help and protection. The Who people lived on a speck of dust. The speck of dust rested on a clover. Moved by compassion, though, he vowed to protect them from all harm. A task which turned out to be more difficult than he first thought.

If you are familiar with Horton Hears A Who, then you remember the line repeated throughout the story, “A person is a person, no matter how small.” What many people don’t know is Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss wrote this book for the people of Japan.

A patriotic American, Geisel hated the Japanese during World War II. When the war ended, he visited the nation and discovered beautiful people and a wonderful culture. One of the lines in the book, "When the black-bottomed birdie let go, and we dropped, We landed so hard that our clocks have all stopped" is a direct reference to the nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. 

“A person is a person no matter how small,” is more than a declaration of equality. These words mark an intentional change in the heart of one author. Theodor Geisel decided to turn his hatred into love and compassion. A love which continues to shape the hearts of children around the world.

“This,” cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour!
The time for all Whos who have blood that is red
To come to the aid of their country!” he said.
We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!
So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
— The Mayor of Whoville

I doubt Dr. Seuss had any idea the people living on a speck of dust resting on a clover was not Japan, but the entire planet earth. No one realized this until February 14, 1990. On that day, Voyager 1 space probe took a picture of earth from 3.7 billion miles away. In the photo, planet earth is less than a pixel in size.

We live on a tiny speck of dust. On this speck of dust, we clamor and fight. Often the struggle is to find love, acceptance, compassion, and security. However, some let their anger and hatred consume their hearts to a point they are willing to kill. Their actions make evil appear overwhelming and all-consuming. But these acts all takes place on a microscopic speck of dust. 

There are some of us who have ears to hear a still small voice calling from the darkness. This still small voice is not one calling out for help, but one offering protection and hope. You can hear this voice in the words of Isaiah. 

Isaiah reminds us that we are small and vulnerable. We all die. Yet, he points to a power beyond our comprehension. There is one who holds all the pieces of dust together in love. This one is preparing a feast. The finest foods are not reserved for the chosen or the righteous. This banquet is prepared for all people, no matter how small. 

The Almighty will join us at this banquet, but will not eat the choice meats. God will feast on death. It will be swallowed up not as punishment, but as life for those beaten by the forces of darkness.

In synagogues across the globe, scrolls of the Torah are kept in a box. When it is time to worship, they are brought out, and the people dwell deeply in these words. While they are wordsmiths, the real purpose of the discipline is to hear the still small voice which calls out to the speck of dust. These are the words of eternal life which bullets cannot destroy.


Click to read Isaiah 25: 1-9

Reflection Questions:

  • When has your anger made a problem bigger than it needs to be?

  • How does your heart find relief from hatred?

  • When have you experienced joy in community?

  • What made that joy possible?

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