Stories that Touch the Heart
The singular story both via book and movie that has had the greatest impact on my life from my youth right on through adulthood is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Over the years I have collected numbers of the movies in video form—sadly VHS, which is pretty much a thing of the past—from the 1938 edition to my favorite, the George C. Scott version. I watch one or more every Christmas season. Why? Because the story touches my heart. It moves me. It makes me stop and think. It rips my focus from self to others. It makes me consider the plight of others. It softens the areas of my heart that are tending toward hardness.
I also have an anthology of the Christmas stories Dickens wrote over the years. His stories are a delight, and all of them have poignant aspects to them. Also of interest is that a number of them are fantasy stories. He was a master at using fantasy to cause his readers to face reality. “A Christmas Carol” is a fantasy story in which spirits take old Scrooge back in time, give him a view of the present, and then take him forward in time. The Spirit of Christmas Present appears in Scrooge’s apartment with Christmas décor and all. Yes, it is a delightful and yet powerful fantasy.
If you have not read “A Christmas Carol,” I encourage you to read it. I would also encourage you to see the George C. Scott movie version—available on the web or via DVD. Of course, there is more of the true Christmas story in the book than in the movie. Still, the movie points to God and His desire for the redemption of fallen mankind at the personal level of the individual. “A Christmas Carol” is a story of life-changing grace.