I’m so proud to have my husband John write my Christmas blog this year. He has a unique view of a favorite Christmas movie and I know it will bless you.
Every year at this time Americans can view multiple airings of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” For a number of reasons this is our family’s favorite Christmas movie. It has all the right notes of a great story: Boy-meets-girl, Boy-wins-girl, Boy-puts-others’-interest-ahead-of –his, and Boy-is brave-town-hero.
Our protagonist, George is friends to all as Clarence, his guardian angel exclaims˗ “I like George Bailey!” This heavenly being has been commissioned by God to show George what his hometown, Bedford Falls, would be like if he had never been born. Through an otherworldly experience Clarence takes his charge on a tour of his town without George. It’s now called Pottersville, named for the miserable miser who controls everything.
Clarence’s encounter with George comes after George reaches a crisis in his life. He sees himself as an utter failure. He’s never been able to achieve his dreams of attending college and becoming a Builder of Things. Instead he runs a struggling little building and loan business. The story reaches its climax when he discovers his life really is a success. He’s become a difference-maker in the lives of the townspeople, tipping the balance of power toward the light instead of devolving into decay and darkness. Bedford Falls ascends while Pottersville is held in abeyance.
The message is unmistakable. We are all a George Bailey, an every man, every woman living out our own epic life story. We are the hero God has chosen in our own time and place to take brave, compassionate and decisive little actions every day. These simple acts compound over time and add up to significant changes in the lives of our family, neighbors, and our community. Some even have a calling so big it impacts their entire region, society or nation.
You see, Pottersville is what becomes reality over time when we choose passive apathy and inaction over purposeful caring, light-bearing influence. We each have a giant to face down and a hill to take in the cause of His Kingdom. As we do, we add a few rays of light in an arena. If enough of us heed that call, we can pull back the darkness and cause His light to shine, the light that brings Life, Hope, and Joy to this season and all year round.