It’s a fantastic film for a multitude of reasons, but this isn’t a review of its quality merits. The following are my thoughts on just one of the many inspiring and personally challenging scenes in this highly-rated (rightly so) movie that’s enjoying some love at the theater this holiday season.
Dickens is in the throes of writing his new book. Pacing around his 1840s home office, the struggling writer works himself into a tizzy. The pressure is on. His immensely popular novel, Oliver Twist (1838), didn’t lead to new bestsellers. They beget two flops. So, Dickens needs a story and he needs it quick; it’s almost Christmas and he has debts and a looming deadline.
Then, he meets him – Scrooge. Inspired by people he’s met and spurred on by his imagination, Dickens creates one of the most beloved and repulsive characters ever penned. And it’s in the writer’s discovery of his character, in this new movie, that Dickens experiences a rather illuminating moment.
That’s one revealing word association game, right! We get to see what lies in the heart of this humbugger. But, it’s not just that. Watching that scene again and again (since it’s now on YouTube), my mind immediately goes to that saying: ‘out of the heart the mouth speaks’. It’s not just a saying though. It’s the Bible.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. – Luke 6:45
Both this scene and verse from Luke remind us that what’s deeply rooted in our hearts will come out one way or another – in our actions and our words. Scrooge’s heart was black as soot; it’s no wonder this scene shows just how cold he had truly become (which makes his redemption at the end so uplifting).
It’s a great reminder to guard our own hearts. Life can eat away at you sometimes. So, we’ve got to feast on God’s Word and think on what’s true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
Let’s not be misers with our compassion and humbug our way through life – or even this week. Let’s remember God’s faithfulness. If we do, His goodness will be on our lips and His love will be in our hearts.