I’m going to be away from here for a couple more days, but I just thought I’d post this in the spirit of this time of year, and in the spirit of what the rest of our year should also probably look like.
I’ve been reading Dicken’s Christmas Carol, and every year it really rocks me. And if you’ve never read it, I’d encourage you to do so. Not watch one of the 18 different versions of it (And if you’re just not a reader, may I suggest the Patrick Stewart version…very close to the book and very well-directed and well-acted; you do, however, have to look over the most unfortunate special effects in cinema ever. As in, Ever), but actually read it. Dickens’ portrayal of love is the most haunting picture of it I have ever read.
“Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre, after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, dark night.
Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. He looked out.
The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.
Whether these creatures faded into mist, or mist enshrouded them, he could not tell. But they and their spirit voices faded together; and the night became as it had been when he walked home.”
It always wrecks me that the picture here is that hell for the damned is nothing more than having lost the power to show love and charity to their fellow man; the very thing that so many times I choose not to exercise the power to do.
So I’ve been trying to do that this year; and it’s kept me a bit absent from this blog, and probably will for a few more days. But the only way I know to truly love and celebrate Jesus’ birth, is to love Him. And we love Him by taking our time and everything we are to truly and honestly love those around us…our families, those in dire need, and the waitress who has to work the graveyard shift at Denny’s on Christmas Eve.
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”
Merry Christmas. I hope it finds you all well!