December 25, 2014

It's Not About Scrooge

The presents are all opened and my children are snuggled in their beds with their wonder and curiosities of the day satisfied.  My house looks like Christmas threw up all over it. Twist ties from obnoxious packaging are embedded in my carpet only to be found by the horrific sound the vacuum will soon make when it runs over them and my Christmas tree is already lying outside the back door where it can drop its final few needles still clinging to its quickly baring branches.

Christmas is finished.  Well, only in part.

The best part of Christmas carries on.  The part of us that had some reckoning, the part of us that saw a need to be better, to be more like Him in some way, hopefully, will carry on.

I finished reading Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, last night.  I had read it before, but not within the past seven years - which is when my journey on the special path began.

On the special path, you gain a new lens to look through and you see and understand things differently.

Rereading this story, I see a new meaning.  I believe, that I understand the story better.

The story is not about Scrooge.

It is about Tiny Tim.

Though, it is through Scrooge's eyes that we understand that.

As the Ghost of Christmas Present, with Scrooge in tow, stops at the Cratchit's home to sprinkle a blessing on it, Bob Cratchit is returning from church carrying his little Tiny Tim.

Our home has had a blessing sprinkled on it too.  It is something completely intangible, yet a blessing so real we feel at times we can touch it.

Mother's first question to her husband:

"And how did little Tim behave?"

I smiled as I read that.  Whenever Alan goes to church with Bridger, and without my accompanying them, it is always my first question when they come in the door as well.

Tiny Tim's statement concerning the outing burned in my heart because I feel it is one of the very purposes of Bridger's journey.  Said Tiny Tim, 'he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.'

Having Bridger in our home reminds each of us in our family, every day, of Him who performed these miracles. Having such a child in your presence, and pausing from your other duties for a moment to think upon it, will inevitably turn your thoughts towards Heaven.  Tiny Tim reminds of us that.

The Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come shows Scrooge a mourning family, that has just lost their precious little son, but yet, that grief is overcome with happiness from gratitude from a gesture - a very simple acknowledgment of them from Scrooge's kind nephew. Then Bob Cratchit reminds his family of how they have been changed by Tim, "that when we recollect how patient and how mild he was; although he was a little, little child; we shall not quarrel easily among ourselves. . . "

We find less room for complaint and agitation in our house.  You cannot whine about your own health, circumstance and other trivialities when you have a Tiny Tim in your midst.

After the magnificent visitations that take a cold hardened heart and cause it to be twisted and tormented, that cause Scrooge to change and to feel, that cause him to see and acknowledge, Scrooge awakens and immediately sets forth to act.  I find it very telling, and even the purpose of the story, to know what a changed Scrooge does.  With his breath restored after just seeing his own death, the first critical movement that Scrooge sees necessary to perform with his new changed heart is to go lighten the burden of Tiny Tim.  Immediately upon waking from the series of nightmares his first action is to purchase the biggest turkey hanging at the butcher and bring it to Tiny Tim and his family, that little Tim might thrive and live.

What is it about Scrooge's newly refined and purposeful vision that saw this as the most important thing to do first?

Tiny Tim knows.

And I do too.

It is not the story of Scrooge that has changed me.  It is the story of Tiny Tim.

Merry Christmas,

and, "God Bless us, Everyone."