Might there be hope for all of us?

When we started with Ebenezer, I asked – might there be hope for all of us, no matter our demons, if on one Christmas Eve, the nastiest and greediest of old men could be transformed into a loving and generous soul?

You might say it is only a story, but I would ask – Where do you think stories come from?

I have learned (and I am convinced of this as much as God Himself) that God communicates to us through stories, through storytellers, and often without their conscious consent. But more. We all know, deep down, the real story of our lives, for God gave us this capacity when He first made us.

And so, storytellers are stirred by God when they write, even though they may not realize this. But they also draw from an unconscious knowledge that lies within.

For this reason, most stories draw a picture of our dilemmas as they really are, but often embedded in the narrative and symbolic. But this “message” does more than diagnose. It also points to the best possible resolution.

Said another way, our true self (as Thomas Merton called it) that was created in the Garden, that sees as God sees, the core of us, the image bearer . . . has never completely died, but has always remained within us. This true self speaks to our false self but is often ignored. For our false self is the fallen part of us, the rebel that has overtaken the castle, that loves the things of this world more than God. But our true self has found a way over the millennia to manifest itself, to find expression in stories. More lies within us than meets the eye.

In Merton’s language: your true self has always known the real story; your false self has always encouraged you to forget it.

Ebenezer’s story is an exception, for the messages are not disguised, but right on the surface. Charles Dickens’ inspiration for the story may have been his realization of just how amazing it is, truly, that we don’t see ourselves more clearly. Others can. It’s almost as if we weren’t present, for how did we miss what no one else did?

But what if we had another opportunity? What if we could revisit it all again? Something more than a walk down memory lane will be necessary to break through, for we remember it all the way we prefer, not as it was. But what if we were able to experience some of the significant events again, as they were happening, but as an observer? And what if we had a guide, someone to prompt us to see the hard truth about ourselves? And with that, Mr. Dickens had enough to begin to write a story that has become one of the greatest of all time.

And so, if God and your true self wanted to say something to you through Ebenezer Scrooge, what might it be? If God took you on a tour of your life, what might He want to show you? Have you ever really thought about this? It’s quite provoking, is it not?

Many don’t dare to ask such a question. They don’t even want to crack that door. Ebenezer didn’t either, God just decided it was time. But as hard as it was, it was the best evening of his life. It was like being reborn. And Christmas morning was the very first day of what I imagine became quite a beautiful life. Living for others and for the joy this brings, instead of being locked within his narcissistic, greedy self. Don’t ever feel it’s too late to change. That is a lie.

Next time we will begin to look at the basic plots in stories and what we can learn from them.


Welcome, I'm Sam!

A fellow traveler on this journey we call life and this path we call the Christian faith, wanting to speak to anyone who will listen about the incredible things that God (only because of His incredible grace) chose to reveal to me. Stories have always been a mirror in which we can see ourselves, if we only look more closely. We are all like the children of Israel in the wilderness, wanting and needing to establish ourselves in the promised land. Stories can help us to get there, and to flourish there.

I can't wait to get to know you!


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