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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Christmas Thought

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843

And from the first words, "Marley was dead, to begin with." to the famous last ones, "God bless Us, Every One!" this little book of five staves or chapters has held my family captivated and gone beyond raising a Ghost of an Idea.

We've talked about Christmas kindness and charity, and why old Scrooge needed the three ghosts to truly "see." And we've touched on what we need to see too. But today I saw my two favorite lines lived out and just how much I have yet to see.

The first line is from Fred, Scrooge's nephew:

"I mean to give him the same chance every year, whether he likes it or not, for I pity him. He may rail at Christmas till he dies, but he can't help thinking better of it~ I defy him ~ if he finds me going there, in good temper, year after year, and saying, 'Uncle Scrooge, how are you?'"

I love this quote because it reminds me in simple human terms how one small act of kindness, repeated no matter how it's received, has the power to change a heart.

The second quote is one that I can barely read through the emotion tightening my throat:

"... for it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself."

What I saw today that made these lines come alive was my children playing. The application of the second quote is pretty easy to see, but what hit me this afternoon was that Jesus was a child himself.

Maybe you’ve already considered that, but watching my children run for the sheer joy of running brought that thought alive. I can imagine Jesus doing the very same thing.

Me doing that takes far more imagination. Therein is the more I have yet to see.

Another pondering point based on the line about doing a kindness over and over no matter how it’s received came from watching my children go from running for joy to pestering. (Yes, Virginia, my kids really aren’t perfect angels. Though they come mighty close as true messengers of God to this mommy’s heart.)

It’s what I saw next that reminded me of Fred’s lines. After they were told to come inside and asked about their behavior, both sat quietly and prayed. Then they talked to each other and apologized for being mean, asking forgiveness for their actions.

This in and of itself is not a startling thing because it happens at least once a day in our home. We often live the truth that forgiveness is a daily requirement. What opened my eyes was that day after day and year after year my children offer to me and to each other a grand act of kindness… forgiveness. And they do it as a normal part of life.

I have so much to learn in that. And I’m praying I won't need three spirits to hammer the point home. ;-) I like my sleep too much.

I’m sure there are dozens upon dozens of deeper and weightier lessons to be learned from A Christmas Carol. But for today this is what my heart is pondering…

The grand kindness of day after day, year after year forgiveness.

The wide-eyed wonder of children at Christmastime and how I, like its mighty Founder, can be a child too.

May you also come as children this Christmas, regardless of circumstances, and worship. It is a gift we give to our great God and to ourselves at the same time.

Merry Christmas!!!


Sally said...

I am so loving that you are blogging again on a regular basis!! It is such a joy to my heart and a much needed lift to my spirit these days!!

Amy Wallace said...

Thank you so much Sally!!! You have no idea what an encouragement this is to me. Well, maybe you do. Either way, I'm very glad to know you're reading and loving it. ;-)


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