Friday, December 02, 2011

Advent with Charles Dickens

Dear Charles Dickens,

Last year I discovered the little book you had written for your children, The Life of Our Lord. Yes, I know you weren't keen on its being published, but just before Christmas, in 1933, your son Henry died, and after that a decision was made, by the grandkids, to share the work with all the rest of us (i.e. the waiting public).

If you are interested in the 2011 version of publication, here is this Christmas page in its audio form.

I love the lines in this description of the advent of Christ, where you say, "His father and mother lived in a city called Nazareth, but they were forced by business to travel to Bethlehem," and "the town being very full of people, also brought there by business, there was no room for Joseph and Mary in the Inn."

Of course when most of us who love your work, think of Christmas, we think of your greater known work, A Christmas Carol. That story, too, has much to say about business and the bad business of Scrooge. But today, I'm thinking about that good businessman you created, Fezziwig, who had "the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil…The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”

In an economic period that is fraught with Scrooges and business people flinging the Gift of God and good from the  inn to the stable or Zuccotti Park, I wish that the spirit of Fezziwig might occupy Wall Street and our own hearts too.


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