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Dave Gobbett | 18:52, 15 October 2016
Horton (an elephant) discovers a microscopic world (the land of Whoville) on a tiny speck of dust, that only he can hear. No one believes Horton, who spends the course of the film trying to protect the speck of dusk from would-be attackers who are out to get it.
It's a brilliant film with beautiful animation, great characterisation and slapstick humour. But its message is profound: just because we can't see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We've used Horton to talk to our kids about how some people don't believe in God, just because they can't see him. But the fact that Horton can't see the people of Whoville doesn't mean they're not there! (And in Jesus, God 'shrinks' himself down to enter our world so we can know him.)
Horton is also a powerful illustration of the plight of the unborn
But Horton is also a powerful illustration of the plight of the unborn, whose size in utero is their greatest peril. The scene in the movie when the people of Whoville realise they're facing death, and cry out in unison "We are here! We are here! We are here!" to try to alert the world to their tiny existence, is as terrifying a scene as you'll get in a certified U film. Especially with your eyes open to what it might remind you of.
Which brings me to an extraordinary BBC documentary by Sally Phillips about Down's Syndrome broadcast on 5th October. If you've not yet seen it, I strongly encourage you to do so. With the advent of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing, which screens pregnant mothers for babies with Down's, there will a growing pressure to terminate. In Iceland where NIPT has been available for five years, 100% of Down's pregnancies have been terminated; in the UK we're already aborting three times as many Down's pregnancies than we were 20 years ago (we're now up to 3 babies, per day). And we can legally abort up to full term.
the joy, warmth and enrichment ... fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God
While no doubt raising a child with Down's Syndrome adds its own unique pressures, all my friends who have done so would testify to the joy, warmth and enrichment their precious children – fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God – have brought them.
Why not pause right now and pray for the impact of Sally Phillips' documentary.
These are challenging times to be alive as Christians, but our calling continues to be salt and light where God has placed us. And he promises to be with us till the very end of the age (Matt 28:20).