Ignorance and Want

“A Christmas Carol” has been done to death.  I know the story and am not really interested in experiencing it again…  

At least that’s what I thought before I read a copy of the “complete and unabridged” version of the actual book by Charles Dickens, a few years ago.  Masterfully crafted with a powerful and moving story of the redemption of an old sinner, the book had an emotional impact on me on the first read.

The Christian overtones are usually removed from modern retellings of the story, so I was surprised by it in the book. I saw parts of myself in Scrooge, and was moved by the reminder that there is hope for the hardest of hearts.  It reminded me of the joy, peace and purpose that I now have because of the amazing grace of Christ.

One startling passage that I had not seen in other versions  involved the “Ghost of Christmas Present” revealing to Scrooge two freaky looking children clinging to the spirit’s robes:

“Spirit!  Are they yours?” Scrooge could say no more.

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them.  “and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.  This boy is Ignorance.  This girl is Want.  Beware of them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that writen which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.  Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand toward the city…


Ignorance and Want.  They go together.   And of the two, “Ignorance” is the most dangerous, because among other things, he causes “Want” to increase.  

But an amazing truth is this:  “Ignorance” and “Want” begin to fade when Truth is communicated and Needs are met.   And churches of people who know what it’s like “to be forgiven much” are perfectly suited for this task.

Now if you don’t read the book (only 113 pages total in paperback, by the way) then the definitive movie version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim.  I dare you to turn down the lights, turn up the fire (or a few candles) and watch this version of the movie without being stirred.  It gets me every time.


So go be light.  Go do good.

Share the Truth and meet needs.  

Go change the world.

And may God truly bless us…every one.


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