Sometimes I feel like Scrooge – old, alone, and unloved – only without the money! (Heck, if I had the money, I wouldn’t be feeling like this, because I could be doing whatever I wanted for Christmas, including going to see my children and grandchildren!)
But maybe I’d still feel this way. After all, I still don’t have anyone to buy me a Christmas present.
It’s really hard to be alone in the winter. The nights get so long, and there’s no point going to bed, because then you’ll wake up in the dark and the COLD!!! TV is such a waste of time that mine isn’t even set up. The light isn’t good enough to sew or crochet (leastways that’s what my old eyes tell me), and I don’t buy better bulbs because of the increased electric bill they’d cause. So I read. But even reading can get boring when dark starts at 5 PM.
With no one to talk to, or play Scrabble with, or even fight and make up with, I can understand how Scrooge gradually began to turn away from everyone. Oh, sure, Mr. Dickens makes it clear that old Ebenezer made his choices because he loved money. And I can’t claim that motive (like I said, I’d be visiting family right now, if I had money). But alone is alone. And after a while, it begins to do things to you.
After a while, you begin to feel that no one loves you, has ever loved you.
After a while, you feel that there is something wrong with you, that makes you unlovable.
After a while, you realize you better find a reason to live, or you’ll die of the loneliness.
Scrooge found his reason in the clink of gold coins.
Others find it in drugs or alcohol. Or in something more innocuous, like a TV show, or a computer game, or a pet (or sixteen. There’s a reason why that old lady has so many cats), or food, or …
But you know, no matter what we try to use to fill the loneliness, to give us a reason for living, nothing works as well as being loved. We need to be loved by God, but we also need to be loved by at least one other human. He didn’t create us to be alone, even to be alone with Him. We need other humans. Of course, being loved by another human is not enough by itself, either. We need to be loved by God, too. We need both.
Knowing that I am loved by God keeps me from sliding into depression, when winter closes in on me. But around the holidays, it’s a bit harder. And for those who don’t know Him … well, they say that Christmas time has one of the highest suicide rates of the year.
So the next time you see that person who lives alone, or that single mom or dad, invite them over for an evening, give them a Christmas card, or maybe even a gift!
After all, everyone deserves a Christmas present – God thought so, He gave us the very first one.