Mankind is our business~

January 1, 2012 Kam 0 Comments

Well Happy New Year! I don’t know about you all, but I’m plumb dumb excited to jump into 2012 and see what the Lord has for us all! 2011 proved to be difficult in many ways for us and though we walked a road we didn’t choose, we can look back and see the hand of God moving in our midst. I trust it will be no different this year.

My family has a long standing tradition that we all just adore. We live pretty close to a big city and each year, “A Christmas Carol” runs at the downtown theater from Thanksgiving till Christmas Eve. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve all been. How we love this play! And the actors are simply phenomenal. Most return year after year to their roles. I absolutely love it. I picked up my old copy of it this Christmas to read too.
Each year, I walk away with more gratitude than the year before; and with deeper conviction. Have you ever noticed how these two are bed fellows?
Gratitude and conviction.
They go together like peas and carrots.
We weren’t even supposed to see the play this year. Honestly, it’s $44 a person and well, we have a baby boy in China to find and bring home. So even though I adore it, “A Christmas Carol” took a backseat in my financial plans. Usually, when times are good, my mom and dad treat us all {siblings, kids, friends} to a December evening at the theater. But money is tight all around and I told my dad to just do for he and mom. We could skip a year…no worries.
But I had a text waiting for me a few weeks ago after church. My dad said to call him asap. He told me that my mom was feeling bad and couldn’t go to see the play with he and my siblings. A friend had also backed out at the last minute. My husband is a staff pastor {youth/education} at our church and had a million responsibilities that afternoon. So, I snagged my nine year old and we headed south to the big city.
Literally five minutes before exiting to the theater, my sister calls and said that the tickets were for last night.
$500 worth of tickets for last night.
I thought my dad may cry. But he went in to the ticket counter and they gladly placed us in other seats. We didn’t sit all together like usual since the show was nearly sold out. But hey, we were in the theater!
The entire time, I sat there with a lump in my throat. Gratitude and conviction swirling in my head. Realizing that I had been placed in that chair for that day to hear those words being spoken to me. Sometimes you wonder, when unexpected things come your way if maybe you should stay the course because you’re under fire or if you should simply relent because surely you are not on the right path. I wondered if there were some reason that all of these things, these details had come together so that I could be sitting in that theater. Church that morning had been rather emotional for me as we had been out of town the week before and this was the first time I had been to worship since Seth died. But there I was nonetheless watching the play unfold and entertaining these two beautiful and constant companions, gratitude and conviction. Gratitude for the countless blessings in my life and the undeniable peace we have felt in the midst of current storms. Conviction that so many others can’t say the same. That people are wondering around with little, if any, hope to carry them. Children needing parents, parents needing to find a way to feed their babies or keep a roof over their head.
I could just about recite this play. I know when the best parts are and when the scary ones happen that I need to hold my baby’s hand. I remember which songs they sing and when they come during the play. I love everything about it. It’s familiar.
But this year, this afternoon, I saw it in a new way. I mean, I have always understood the meaning of “A Christmas Carol”. I had just never been mourning during it. I’ve never been hurting when it rolls around. Sadness has not marked a Christmas for me like it has of late. And all I could think of was, to me, the most profound piece of the play.
You all know the story. Just after the onset, Marley’s ghost visits Scrooge and they have a haunting conversation. It comes to a head like this,

‘But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

‘Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ‘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!’

Isn’t that so powerful? And this year, sitting in a packed theater with my sister on my left and my Sydney baby on the right, my thoughts drifted to China. And our Seth who now lives in Heaven. And the countless others who are left waiting for families and security and love. These beautiful, made in the image of God, children…who are our business.
Our attorney, who recently finalized 18 adoptions in just two days, said to me last Wednesday, “Kam, there is no shortage of orphans in this world.” How depressing and true that statement is.
Are you like me?
I have so much that vies for my time and affection. So many things that steal my focus. Trinkets worth nothing that I selfishly place value on. Oh, that I; that we; would see the need to have a different perspective. That we would be awakened. That our hearts would be redeemed as Scrooge’s was. May 2012 be a year that we would rise up and change the lives of the fatherless.
Because my friends, mankind IS our business. And business is booming.

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