During the holiday season there are three books I love to read. One is Charles Dicken's classic "A Christmas Carol." I have read this book each year for more years than I can remember. The movie version (the one with Alastair Sim) is by far our favorite Christmas movie. I never fail to enjoy the story of Scrooge's transformation from miserly curmudgeon to the friendly, and generous, keeper of Christmas.
Another book I read each Christmas is "The River Whispers Her Name," by our friend Jay Grelen. This is a sweet story of a family's Christmas miracle set on the rivers in our area. Reading the familiar area names makes it even more special to read.
In "Jacob T. Marley," there is a scene where someone sees Scrooge through the window of his counting house, but does not choose to have any interaction with him. The person goes on to tell someone else, who once knew Scrooge, about the sighting though. Watching this happen, unseen, are the spirits of the ghost of Christmas Past and Jacob Marley.
The Ghost tells Marley that the person seeing Scrooge missed an opportunity. He goes on to say that the person could have gone into the counting house and offered condolences to Scrooge on Marley's death. When Jacob suggests Scrooge might have chased the man out again, the Spirit told Jacob that the man's kindness might not have had an effect on Scrooge in that moment, but "that experience might have worked within him."
As more of Scrooge's past flows by, the Ghost goes on to tell Jacob that in life there are times where two lives are meant to cross paths. He states that what is meant to be accomplished in those lives can only be done by those two people. He finishes the discussion by telling Jacob that each of us "have opportunities that we alone can fulfill".
Even though I have read this book several times, this passage especially struck me this year. The thought that each of us has "opportunities that we alone can fulfill" pressed upon my mind. There are counting houses, as it were, that we are meant to go into. There are people we are meant to interact with, if only briefly, to plant a seed, to display a kindness that might work within the heart of another to draw them to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The tiny seed we plant may be part of what causes their miraculous transformation, just as Scrooge was transformed.
Perhaps our little seed is just a kind word, a cheerful countenance, a helping hand or a word of encouragement. We will not know in this life how mighty a tree grows from our little seed, but if done with a good and faithful heart, we can know the Lord will use it to accomplish His will and His way.
Let us keep our eyes open, especially in this holiday season, for opportunities to sow seeds wherever we can. Our world needs love and kindness more than ever and, through Christ, we have an endless supply of both.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over,
shall me give into your bosom.
For with the same measure that ye mete
withal it shall be measure to you again."
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