A Christmas Carol: Stave 3, Day 4 (A Caroling Excursus)

A moor, a lighthouse, a ship at sea: lonely, barren, hard places of the earth, where wind exposes your aloneness, where the vastness of the surroundings shrink you down to nothing. These stark lands paint a vastly different picture than London where everyone has somewhere to be and some family or friend to greet. One would think Scrooge would feel at home in these places which seem not unlike his own cold, dismal abode. 

The truth is, though, that they were vastly different. Our first thought might be that light and heat made the difference. The miner’s hut had a family gathered around a “roaring fire.” The two men in the lighthouse made a fire that “shed out a ray of brightness on the awful sea.” But the ship at sea boasted no such fire, no such light to overcome the darkness.

No, it was not light or heat that differentiated these places from Scrooge’s. It was the songs. The miner’s family, the men on watch, and the men on the ship all sang. What else do you do on Christmas day, but sing? Unless you’re Scrooge. Then you shake your fist at a boy who dares to carol through a key hole. But sing they did despite their situations. Scrooge spends his days surrounded by humanity, yet he is quietly alone. These people spends their days alone, yet they sing.

Are you singing? Is there a song in your heart? There should be for David writes, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” So today, sing, and let your song “shine a ray of brightness on the awful sea” that is around us.

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