“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”
(Luke 6:28-30 MSG)
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, has become one of my favourite Christmas novels. Not long ago, I saw different adaptations of the book in movies, such as It’s Christmas, Carol! and Christmas Cupid. The transformation of the book’s bitter old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghosts of past, present and future is very inspiring indeed.
Interestingly enough, I recently had a personal encounter with someone who I’d like to refer to as “Scrooge.” This authoritative and powerful figure, who seems to show no regard for others, has been going through what I like to call humbling circumstances. And as someone who has been personally affected by this person’s bitter attitude, there’s a part of me that wants to rejoice over their fall. But as a Christian, there’s also a part of me that longs for a transformation in this person’s life. And just as Ebenezer was changed by the visits of the ghosts of the past, present and future, I wish that the Scrooge I know would be changed by a visit from the Holy Spirit of God.
It remains to be seen what God will do with the Scrooge I know as I pray for them. But one thing I’m sure of, no one is beyond His reach.
“I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” ― Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”