We have arrived at the beginning of the end, so to speak. If you’ve endured this long, congratulations; there is short work left. Just six pages remain in Dickens’s little tale about Ebenezer Scrooge. The Ghosts are gone, and we are left with the results. But before we get very far, Dickens shows us that Scrooge has indeed changed.
I’m not talking about his commitment in the second paragraph. We all know that resolutions come and go. We hope that Scrooge will change his stingy, hard, cold ways, but what will happen when he’s tempted the first time to hold on to one more pound or when the beggar comes calling? Will he return to his old ways?
So Dickens does a little thing for us that, if we are reading carefully, we will have some confidence in a more permanent change. If you remember at the beginning of the story, Scrooge is described in rather cold terms. It was almost as if he were a dead, cold corpse—which by the way is how he ends up in Stave Four. But now: “He was so fluttered and glowing… .”
Do you remember how the Nephew was first described? “He was all in a glow.” Now, Scrooge has taken on a new characteristic. He glows. The cold is gone. And as you read through the first couple of pages of Stave Five, you will see a different setting. The cold, dark room has been replaced with something different. Notice the words. In addition to fluttered and glowing, there’s busy, extravagance, light, happy, merry, frisked, illustrious, splendid, running, golden, sweet, brilliant, bright, and even a hint that Dickens was a fan of Texas A & M—Whoop.
Things have changed. It is evident, not just in Scrooge’s words, but in the atmosphere—the oppressive fog is long gone. What is your atmosphere like? What words describe you? I know we all have different personalities, but has a relationship with Jesus Christ changed you? I suppose we could couch it in these terms: Are you cold or glowing?