Just a quick post because I haven't blogged in a while ... this past weekend I saw A Christmas Carol twice: Thursday night in South Bend and Saturday night in Amana, Iowa where Dan is doing his acting internship. Who doesn't know this story? and I have to say that the line "God bless us every one" has never inspired me in the least. But I haven't actually seen the play in years and I was surprised by a few things ... first by how modern Scrooge sounded as he talked about the "surplus population." Second by how quickly he changed once he was shown a new perspective (by the way, it was the showing, not a lifetime of people telling it to him, that changed him). By the time Christmas Present comes around, Scrooge really wants to see and learn and change.
But the thing that moved me the most (much more than that trite little Tiny Tim) was the patient love that Scrooge's nephew Fred had for him. For Pete's sake, if your uncle was Ebenezer Scrooge and he was mean to everyone and rejected all your invitations and shut himself off from all the world, wouldn't it be easy to just leave him there and stop trying? I was kind of touched by the way that Fred came in with all his Christmas spirit, undoubtedly knowing he'd be rejected again, and even more by how he joyfully welcomed Scrooge into his home once Scrooge has had his change of heart. He doesn't berate Scrooge for taking so long to get the Christmas spirit, he doesn't even question what happened, he just welcomes him in. Kind of like the Father's love for us. My hope this Christmas is to be more like Fred, to leave behind cynicism and self-righteousness and just invite people wholeheartedly into joy and love.