“But if you were free today…, can even I believe that you would choose a dowerless girl—you who …weigh everything by Gain.”
These words, spoken by Scrooge’s fiancé, show us the direction Scrooge’s life has taken since he left his apprenticeship at Fezziwig’s. At that point in Scrooge’s progression, when things seemed to be going so well, when he seemed to have a perfect role model in Fezziwig’s generosity and vivacious spirit, how did he end up here, losing a girl because she was poor?
It certainly didn’t start out that way. Apparently when they became engaged, they were both poor. But somewhere along the way, she became aware that “Another Idol has displaced me.” He protested, but he couldn’t deny that if they had met only now, he would not choose her. Her poverty assured that.
But again I ask why, when things seemed to be going so well, did Scrooge still end up that way? I would submit that the weight of his prior experience as a boy outweighed the good that Fezziwig offered. Scrooge looked back over his life and saw the reality of the world: “There is nothing on which [the world] is so hard as poverty.” He had been poor. He suffered because of it. He didn’t want to remain that way. And in choosing to pursue wealth to avoid poverty, he gave up love in the process. Clearly, the weight of the past is heavy. When someone has been marred by poverty or abuse at a young age, research has shown that it takes multiple positive role models to make a difference. Would that Scrooge had more Fezziwigs in his life!
But he also needed an internal change. The time spent at Fezziwig’s may have affected Scrooge outwardly, but without the internal change of a depraved and broken heart, why should we expect Scrooge to respond otherwise? Scrooge chose to be alone. He chose to give up love. He chose to devote himself to Gain. And he succeeded.
Have you, like Scrooge placed an idol in your life in hopes of keeping the world from being too hard on you? Advent is the season where we long for light to shine in the darkness, and the world is dark. Trying to medicate that darkness by some means other than Christ is a foolish and futile endeavor.
So let us not deny the darkness, but let us also not fear the darkness. Let us hold fast to the hope that Jesus is the true light that came into the world. A light that meets us in our darkness.