These immortal, piercing words are from the lips of George Bailey in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. As we enter into this holiday season, there are many who walk among us who are suffering greatly. They wear a mask, of course. They have to look like they have it all together. I know few people who are willing to display their abject brokenness on their sleeve for all to see: “I am an addict”. “My husband is having an affair”. “I broke my marriage vows”. “I bankrupted my company”. “I destroyed a friendship”. “I was molested”. “I am considering suicide”. Nobody wants to hear about it. Keep up the happy face until….
Until what? Until the pain, torment and confusion take their awful toll on a once innocent life. Pushed and stuffed into a corner, we finally have had enough, and we must react. We are past responding, and are now simply reacting. We crack. We lose it. We break down. We break others. We ultimately become self loathing and self destructive. Until….
Until what? Until the primal scream of a pent up prayer breaks forth from the innermost part of our being: “Please God, Let me live again!” We love the story of Scrooge, because he was this man as well. Forced to see himself as he really was, he repented and pleaded with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come to allow him to “sponge away the writing on this stone” – his own epitaph.
This Christmas season carries a holiness and a fearfulness like the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come. Confronted by yet another year with no change in ourselves, we stop looking in, stop looking out, and start looking up. Where can I go, but to the Lord? This season also carries the wonderful joy of the Spirit of Christmas Present. Bounty, Friends, Hope, New Beginning. The sheer and absolute and stunningly naked power of the simplicity of an answered prayer. To know, not guess, that the High and Lofty One Who Inhabits Eternity has heard you. Has heard YOU! And has bowed down to the earth in Holy, unspeakable, unasked-for condescension. Why? Because He loves you. Isn’t this what Linus told Charlie Brown? That’s what Christmas is all about?
So, this Christmas, don’t be afraid or ashamed to let this prayer be your heart’s cry.
Please God. Let me live again.
He is waiting for someone to ask Him.