How Little Can A Person Be

Who is the smallest person you have ever known? I don’t mean small like the littlest man in the Bible. It wasn’t Nehemiah (Knee-high-miah) or the Bildad the Shuhite (Shoe-height). It was the Roman soldier who slept on his watch. Now that is small.

Not that kind of small. The reference is to a person who is insecure, one who has an inferior complex which results in trying to build up self by tearing others down. That never has worked. Lincoln said, “You can’t gain ground by slinging mud.”

A little person works insidiously to destroy the reputation and even institutions, programs, fountains, and facilities in general associated with a predecessor. Such a person is preoccupied not with filling the shoes of one who went before but burying them. This often results in the person being so consumed by this passion all other decisions are influenced by it. The past is to be forgotten and those associated with it diminished.

Such a person fails to realize they are building their own negative legacy as a little envious person. They begrudge the success of the past and resent persons associated with it. They hope to make themselves look better by making others look bad.

I learned of such a person on a recent trip to Egypt. The queenly Hatshepsut ruled Egypt as Pharaoh. Her son and successor Tutmose III worked with a passion to have all indication of her life and work eradicated. He even had her name removed form the list of rulers. All monuments to her were defaced; tributes were destroyed. On occasion Tutmose III would have sculptors chisel off her face from statues and have his replace it. He had a problem and it wasn’t Hatshepsut.

During her reign she had the support of the leaders in Thebes and the populace throughout the land, took full royal titulary, and ruled for twenty years as pharaoh. Yet, only faint reminders of her success and image remain. Were it not for her stunningly beautiful mortuary terrace temple at Deir el-Bahri there would be little remaining evidence of her rule. She was one of three leaders who develop the new Egypt but the efforts of her successor virtually removed all evidence of her life and work.

It is the centuries old effort to eradicate her accomplishments that has resulted in a contemporary effort to redeem her record and give her the place deserved on history’s horizon. More and more efforts are being made to confirm her deeds. Such efforts reveal Tutmose III as a little man. Any persons disposed to his conduct align themselves with the little people of this world.

Over an entrance to Westminster Abby is this inscription: “The workman dies, but the work lives on.” That is especially true in the spiritual realm. Solomon described the permanent record of their work in these words: “Whatever God does, it shall be forever, nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

Little people decry what God won’t deny. In the mean time fluff up that pillow on the watch.