I love Dickens. The magical spells he wove with words. Places far way that feel like home. People I could not relate to, but knew intimately and well. A cast of characters too big, a plot equally massive. A point so precise it was no more than a single dot burned into Life’s hide.
I love Scrooge most of all. I love the all of him. The dark dwelling cynic who cannot get out of his own way. The greedy bastard who never offered a reason for his disdain for the poor, other than they were miserable and poor. His black bitterness. The foreshadowing of his hideously beaten and bruised heart.
We have all been him. This beast of a man. This cold codger with a withering stare and hands barked in pain. This presence of an absence. No faith. No hope. No love. Just work and money and stuff. We all have quietly wished for Christmas to pass quickly. To take its sugary schmaltzy hands off our neck. To stop jingling in our ear. To stop twinkling in the night. To stop trying so damn hard to ignite something which long ago died.
Yes, I know this man. I am this man, too many days to count. I know his life mugging mood. I have been claimed by his twisted perspective. I have been consumed in darkness so thick, they needed to pipe light to me.
I am also that man at the window, screaming at a baffled boy to go get the prize turkey. The man who was jarred loose from the grip of his despair, by a visitation from three spirits we can just as easily call remembrance. The weary old man who found rest for his soul on his nightly spiritual travels, and woke up to a Life frosted in sun. A man who came back to life. His own life. And lifted Tiny Tim up to higher ground. And was transformed from greed to generosity. And was made whole by the Grace of a God – which somehow managed to take him home. I too am that man who has at some time inspired the words, “God bless us everyone!”
We are Scrooge. The all of him. We are. We truly are. We always will be. We will always be in awe at the truest miracle of Dicken’s classic tale of darkness and light. The fact that we are told Scrooge continued to be a most amazing chap for the rest of his life. His was not a one time Christmas, or a Christmas in name only. Scrooge became Christmas. That is the secret to it. A secret we cannot keep. A secret we simply must share.
“God Bless us every one!”
They spring from the same soul, and the same deep yearning to find in Life, that God has a point to make with us. The very same longing to make a difference. The very same faith, which wears Christ like a cloak, and doubt like a vest.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.