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Friday, December 22, 2006

A Christmas Carol

A couple of months ago, I decided that one of the ways I was going to enjoy Christmas this year was to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I’ve never actually read the book. I saw the cartoon when I was little, but that hardly counts. As it turns out, the literature group I’m in decided to read and discuss the book for the month of December, so I read it this week.

As I was thinking about the various different themes in the book, I came across this passage after Scrooge has seen the light:

“He [Scrooge] went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted the children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk—that anything—could give him so much happiness.”

If Scrooge had taken that same walk before his perspective changed, he wouldn’t have went to church, or noticed people hurrying to and fro, or patted any children on the head, or cared about beggars, or found happiness in seeing others celebrate Christmas in their homes. His new attitude gave him compassion for his fellow man.

We don’t have to search far and wide to find real life examples of people in need. They are all around us this Christmas season. Some are lonely. Some are missing a spouse who passed away. Some are missing a parent. Some are recently divorced. Some are missing a soldier who is deployed. And some have made recent moves and are feeling desperately out of place.

Stay alert for such people this weekend. Listen to them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Invite them to dinner. Meet their needs. It might just turn out to be the best Christmas you’ve ever had.


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