Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Traditions, Part II

As I mentioned in a previous post, my hubby and I have as one of our Christmas traditions the watching of certain movies. Here's favorite #2: It's A Wonderful Life.

What can you say about a classic? I've watched it every Christmas for years, and yet each year it seems fresh to me. Its themes remain so current and relevant. We all have had dreams deferred, dreams dashed and dreams reimagined. C'mon, be honest - haven't you at least once in your life said, "It'd be better if I'd never been born" or words to that effect? Truth be told, we've all been on that bridge with George Bailey, facing a problem that seems insurmountable and seeing only the black water below - hopeless.

I've been there. And I, too, was rescued by the Lord who brought hope to me via my own "Clarence," good friends who wouldn't leave me no matter how hard I tried to push them away.

I have always adored Jimmy Stewart and George Bailey is one of my favorite characters, but it is Donna Reed who is the unsung hero of the movie. Mary is George's rock. She is steadfastly faithful. She's in his corner, handing him their honeymoon money to save the company. Turning a delapidated house into a makeshift night in the tropics and mostly remind George to look at the bright side. When despair overtakes George and his response is ugly, it is Mary who prays for him. Mary images the Spirit here - working a good work in George, or at least trying to. And it is to Mary that George's thoughts race when he gets his wish of being erased.

It's A Wonderful Life reminds us that we aren't measured by our bank account, the title on our business card or our zip code. Its unspoken question is, how have we lived?

It's A Wonderful Life reminds us that the day-to-day things we do in our lives could have long-term consequences that we could never imagine.

It's A Wonderful Life acknowledges the Divine Providence that governs our lives and the One who cares for us.

And lastly, It's A Wonderful Life gives us one more reason to smile every time we hear a bell ring!

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