In Charles Dickens Christmas Story, the character Scrooge is often considered the primary villain. There is no doubt that in Christmas pasts, he inflicted unnecessary pain and trouble on his family as well as those who worked for him. The potential blame for what might happen to a sick boy was placed at his feet early in the story. The enlightenment and response of Scrooge is the stuff of movies. What strikes me most is the responses of Fred, Scrooges’ nephew, Bob, his clerk, and especially Tiny Tim, long sick son of Bob. In short, Tiny Tim understands the spirit of Christmas from his heart outwards.
As I catch up with friends, it is clear that 2014 has been a tough year for many. A recurring theme has a line to describe the experience and feeling; “A long run of bad luck, that’s what – a slap in the face every time I walk out the door.” (Psalm 73.14) Business challenges, illnesses, relationship breakdowns, and tragedies are experiences that everyone understands because of individual exposure and experience.
Sadly, I agree! Tragedy and horrific events have toughed all of us. In contrast to moments of extreme beauty and joy, the pain and anguish stabs one’s heart, randomly reminding one of all that has or might be lost. Even in the gentle tropical breeze on a quiet morning, I find myself reluctant to venture outside. Fear is never exclusive to the young.
As dark as the catch-ups want to become, I find myself remembering characters throughout our history and literature that understood the heart of Christmas. With full awareness of the pain and angst, each echoes Tiny Tim words in their actions, responses, and voice; “God bless us, everyone.”
My imagination of how things could be if I embraced the Spirit of Christmas includes the following.
Compassion trumps justice. I worry more about others (compassion) than I do about myself (justice).
In everyway possible, my intent through action is to make the world a better place.
I see Hope in everything.
Reactions are a choice by one’s heart.