How Small We Are
One of my favorite Tom Hanks movies is one of his earliest, Joe Versus the Volcano. In one scene, Hanks’ character is lost at sea. As the moon rises over the ocean, he stands on his raft and prays. It was perhaps this character’s first prayer of his life.
What would you pray in that situation? I figured his prayer would be, “God, get me out of this mess! I want to be rescued!” But no—he prays, “Oh, God, whose name I do not know, thank you for my life. I never knew how BIG . . .”
He never finishes the sentence. But it is obvious that he had come to realize how big, how majestic, God is, but only after realizing how small he was. Sometimes even Hollywood gets it right.
I see the same theme in Psalm 8, in which the first and last verse are identical: “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in a ll the earth!” But in the center of that same psalm is a testimony not only to God’s greatness, but to our smallness: “What is man, that you are mindful of him?” Like a sandwich of truth, the psalm’s beginning, middle and end emphasize why we need to keep our size in perspective.
David E. Fessenden is a literary agent for WordWise Media Services with degrees in journalism and theology, and over 30 years of experience in writing and editing. He has published seven books and written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, his first novel, reflects his love for history and for the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan-Doyle.