This Friday and Saturday the play John and I have been thinking about and dreaming about for over a year will finally happen. A Christmas Carol has been a long time favorite of John’s for years and he even played Bob Cratchit in a previous version for several years. So when we decided it would be a good idea to put on a full length play at our Church, he put up a very convincing discussion for choosing it as our first one.
I have to admit, I was sceptical. In general, I am not a big Charles Dickens fan. I can hear some of you more literary readers groaning at me from here, but the truth is I find him to be wordy and long on description and narration and short on actual dialogue. So…I hemmed and hawed and tried to come up with a different idea but in the end…Dickens won out.
And I couldn’t be happier that it did.
While adapting the book to a script that would suit our audience, I had the opportunity to read the book over and over, and over and over again. I became enthralled with the messages behind the story,and knew that they were the exact inspirational messages we wanted to share for the holiday season.
The story of the transformation of a lonely, bitter, self-serving man who hadn’t a friend to call his own is a remarkable story of hope for us all. Scrooge isolated himself from his family, his community and any hope of love in his life just to follow his dream of creating wealth. In doing so, he lost the quality of his life. The lessons learned by the visits of Marley and the three Christmas ghosts showed him the error of his ways and gave him a new desire to become close with his family and help his employee and community. He opened himself up to the amazing power of love and is re-created a new man, one of hope, compassion and kindness. We are reminded that our actions DO affect others and that the choices we make create a destiny for us that can’t be avoided. In our choices we can choose love or loneliness.
Scrooge was able to transform the destiny of his life by making a new choice. A choice to live on purpose with love in his heart for his fellowman. And he was able to do so in the blink of a decision.
The holidays are a difficult time for many people. A lack of good quality relationships create a deep well of loneliness and despair for isolated people. Depression is rampant this time of the year. The lesson of Scrooge reminds us to reach out to others and live a life of charity, kindness and love for all. It’s a message that can’t be mentioned enough. In this day of financial worry and tension, these companionships mean all the more. It doesn’t take money to reach out and care. A simple word of encouragement, a smile, a word of comfort can make such a difference in someone’s life. And it only takes a second.
There have been other lessons learned and highlighted in putting on this play. I have been constantly amazed at the pouring out of generosity, hard work and sacrifice from the cast and crew and the congregation. Everyone has pitched in and helped in so many ways that my gratitude for all of them is overflowing. The teamwork has been incredible.
A year ago, this play was just the seed of a dream, a lofty someday goal. But with everyone working together, sharing resources, time and energy, it has become a reality. It isn’t the success of just one person but rather the accumalation of many different miracles, faith and hard work.
When a group of people gather with a united vision, anything is possible.
I am so proud to be a part of that vision. I am so inspired by working alongside some truly amazing people of faith and generosity. I am so honored that they put their faith in us and helped to make this dream come true.
It’s all been too amazing to put in words.
Except maybe these words…
And God bless us, everyone!