I love the beloved classic It’s a Wonderful Life– every season my husband and I looked forward to our video version after trimming the tree. A sweet tradition that’s been changed . . . because life is not always black and white. And I miss him.
Last evening, I went to a local movie theatre with a dear friend to see the full screen version. Even better. And I find that no matter how familiar I am with every scene and every line, I always come away touched in a new heart place.
Standing on the edge of an old, iron, snow-covered bridge, George wishes he’d never been born and is ready to end his life in the icy waters below. He has no idea how blessed he truly is until he has an encounter with the lovable apprentice angel, Clarence. Life stands still for George as he is taken on a journey of his life and sees what it would be like for those whose lives he touched if he’d never been born.
The final scene has an elated man running through the streets of Bedford Falls, grateful for life and wishing everyone and everything a ‘Merry Christmas.’ Humbled by the rush of supportive friends who come to him in his desperation always brings me to tears as I recall the countless times our friends met our family in times of despair.
It’s important to relate to the spiritual message with our own life-reruns when we consider what if certain ones hadn’t been born to be placed into our lives. Or ours – theirs.
And so, picture a vacant crèche if Jesus had not been born. What would the world be like if Emmanuel hadn’t been transported from heaven to a holy womb, to come to earth to live among us and die for all?
The Bible would end in Malachi in God’s silence. Our prayers would be wasted breath falling on a distant ear. There would be no tears, no all is calm and bright when we sing ‘Silent Night”’ because there was no silent night.
No forgiveness, no hope, no Christmas.
Every holy season reveals more of Jesus and His amazing ways of how He uses us in each other’s lives to bring about change.
The best Christmas stories are about changed lives, and I don’t need a George Bailey moment to realize that without Him I would still be on the same destructive path.
Consider how your life would be different if Jesus had never been born – and how would the lives you have touched been different if you hadn’t.
Love your wonderful life because Jesus came to change it . . .
“For I came down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
(re-posted www.vernabowman.com 2011)