"Why was Mr. Scrooge so rich, Momma? and why was Bob Cratchit so poor?"
We were watching Disney's version of the Charles Dickens classic with our kids that day. You know the one with Mickey Mouse? That one.
I love how my six year old daughter thinks, contemplates and evaluates things. She's got this depth I haven't seen in many kids her age.
As we were watching the movie, she asked that question and I responded,
"Well, sweetheart. Back then there were really only two types of people: the rich and the poor. This story a was book before it was a movie and the author wanted to show people how the rich can really help the poor, which wasn't normal back then."
It was her watching and hearing 171 years after this beautiful piece of literature was written that spurred her thoughts and her question. It was her question that started me thinking about the history and epistemology behind his story.
His book on the strife and condition of the poor in 19th century England was groundbreaking. He was already an accomplished author on books about the life in Victorian England. Then in the winter of 1843, he wrote A Christmas Carol. The book shed light on the working class in England then, the way the rich lived and how the poor tried to survive. Through this piece of writing, he wanted to show that the gap between the rich and poor at the time could be bridged with faith, kindness and giving to others in abundance. Through Mr. Scrooge, Charles Dickens revealed something wondrous through the tale of a dream/spiritual awakening of a miserable and closed-fisted man:
Lives can be changed.
Life can be truly lived.
What Charles Dickens conceded in his classic was that through the life change of one man, through his heart changing, he was able to give away in abundance of what he held so dear before. He was able to give what others needed (financially) which transcended class and hierarchy at the time.
It was much more than just monetary gain. It was a chance to show that the life change in one man resonates in an infinite amount of others.
How can this resonate today?
How can it resonate in your life? In mine?
Can we take any plausible amount of disbelief and disconnection during this season; and exchange it for a giving heart, much like the title individual in this classic tale?
How can we be influenced, like how Scrooge was at the end of The Christmas Carol, and profess:
"I will keep Christmas in my heart."
It could be financially that you could give to others in need. It could be your time and energy you just don't think you have enough of. It could be listening to someone who needs to talk. It could be just smiling at someone you know and simply saying; "You matter to me."
Ultimately it's simply this:
Giving in abundance from what you have. Giving from what you have been gifted.
Just pause for a moment and think about how you can give openly, in abundance.
I'll be right there beside you thinking the same. I'll be thinking of the ones whose giving overflowed in my life and how in turn, it blessed me. How I desire to do the same for others.
Let's start now. Don't worry about yesterday or about what you could have done. Throw that all away and focus on overflowing the abundance you have right now.
Whatever it is, don't hold on to it. Give it away. Give it away freely.
There was a great king; Solomon, who was blessed by God with wisdom and in turn blessed a multitude in abundance with his wisdom, wrote in Proverbs this:
"The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped."
Bless others and you will be blessed.