Conversion of the Heart

In the NY Times magazine this past Sunday, there was a piece that asked, Could Ebenezer Scrooge have been sick? Maybe he had a medical condition, but for me the Charles Dickens' story of A Christmas Carol is about a man who is spiritually sick.

No matter how many times I read this classic, or watch the film versions, I am moved. There are so many scenes worth mentioning, but one in particular stands out: the conversation between terrified Scrooge and the troubled ghost of his dead business partner Jacob Marley.

Sorrowful Marley said:

"Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

"At this time of the rolling year," the spectre said, "I suffer most. Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me?"

No matter what your religious persuasion, I believe that this tale has universal appeal in its lesson about the conversion of the heart that transforms Scrooge from a mean, selfish, and cold old miserly skinflint into a loving and generous "good man."

My wish in this Holiday Season is for a conversion of the heart around the world that will transform us all . . . and our world.

As Tiny Tim said: "God bless us every one."

Shalom.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 12/20/06

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