|Frank Finlay as Marley Source Wikipedia|
“Business! 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!” ~ Jacob Marley,
from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Oh the words of that infamous ghost of Jacob Marley, ringing truth still on Christmas Eve 2012.
So many times we forget that Ignorance and Want applies to more than just human necessities such as the ability to read and write, or the common needs of food, shelter, and water. Ignorance and Want are clamoring to be alleviated of their thirst at the capped wells of spiritual wholeness.
This isn’t about how long are our individual chains in the great hereafter. It’s about what we are doing in the great here-right-now.
Are we reaching out to those who need reaching out to? If you have a guest in your house do you not say, “Welcome to my home,” or do you first wait for them to say, “Oh thank you, thank you so much for letting me come to your home?” If you wait for the gratitude, you might be waiting an awful long time. Most likely your guest list will dwindle to zero based on, what I’m certain at the very least Miss Manners would consider, gauche behavior on your part. I’m pretty sure that God would like us to use our manners on his behalf as well.
Let’s say you have a friend whom you haven’t seen in quite a while. Do you wait for them to contact you, or do you contact them to find out the reason you haven’t seen them? If you wait for the desperate pleas for your friendship you might find yourself waiting for quite a long time. Perhaps they were waiting to see if you actually cared enough to call. I’m pretty sure that although God checks in on our friends, he’d like us to do the same on his behalf.
If you have a friend who is living through hell, do you stand by and watch? Or, do you say, “How can I help?” Perhaps you can’t help at all. Maybe the situation is so bad, so unbelievably heartbreaking, it is beyond your ability to help, but is it not better to ask than not ask? What if you could have helped and chose not to? (Think Tiny Tim) I’m pretty sure that God always asks.
It’s kind of surreal to watch people become demoralized. We never think that person will be us, but sometimes it is. When demoralization happens, the first reaction on the part of the demoralized is to seek hope. What happens when the light of hope has been willfully turned out? When the common welfare of mankind is no longer the business of those entrusted with the light of hope? When the business of hope is nothing more than a money changer’s table?
In the words of the Christmas carol, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, written by Longfellow, God is not dead, nor does he sleep. That is a certainty to those who hold to the Christian belief, at least that’s the way I understand it. I think it’s time we start acting like it – individually and in groups.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens holds so many lessons of life within its pages. Did you know that Dickens wrote this infamous timeless classic in six weeks? How can that happen? How can such a profound story of the human condition be written so fantastically, so perfectly in six weeks? Perhaps…just perhaps, there was something more. Something that the world needed to hear and Charles, bless his soul, was good enough to share it.
Have a Merry Christmas one and all. May your business always be the common welfare of mankind.