Today Was A Fairy Tale

Wonderful LifeOnce upon a time there was a man named George Bailey…

As evening fell on a perfect Thanksgiving Day my family migrated from the table to the couch and curled up to watch It’s A Wonderful Life.

Quite possibly my favorite movie ever, this iconic Christmas classic is a holiday tradition I try to make time for each year. This year, as I watched George Bailey come back to life with Zu-Zu’s petals and a bloody lip, I realized this movie is as much about Thanksgiving as it is Christmas.

While the Christmas spirit rallied the hopes of George and his community, it was a change in his perspective that brought life to his bones. And it was a heart of thanksgiving that saved him.

Prior to Clarence’s arrival, George Bailey was at the end of his rope. Burdened by pressures at work, the threat of bankruptcy, the threat of jail time, he clung to the snowy rail of a bridge, looked into the icy, black waters below and believed he was better off dead than alive.

When Clarence appears and shows George what the world would be like without him, George is able to see his life through thankful eyes. In one sweet instant everything that had once been a burden became the truest of blessings:

His busted lip…

His car smashed into a tree…

The small town that held him captive…

The job that stole his dreams…


Jail time…

And even that old loose knob at the end of his stairway…

All became blessings when compared to a life empty of everything George held dear.

How often do we do this? How often do we live like George Bailey and fall into a trap of burden, discouragement and despair? How often do we stand on the bridge of life, peer into the blackened waters and wonder at the point of hardships, and trials, and suffering?

How often do we take a blessing and make it a curse?

Look around you. Look at your life. Look at the paycheck too small, the house too cramped, the loved one too stubborn. Look at the things that burden you.

And imagine. What would your life look like without them?

We all live with burdens we wish we could change. We wish we could blink them away. Wake up from the nightmare of pain, disappointment, and loss. But just like George, I think we sometimes fail to consider how even the burdens in our life are blessings.

Ann Voskamp writes,

“When you wake to losing someone, you win love. When you realize that what you have you will lose, you win real eyes. You win grateful joy. The way to experience unlimited elation may be to imagine unexpected limitation. Imagine losing sight and open your eyes to a brighter light. No water, and the next cold glass becomes desert rain. Envision life without the loveliness of those you love and you see how much you love. There’s a way to wake up and not to live numb. The way to love life is to imagine losing it. The one who loses his life finds it.” (From One Thousand Gifts Devotional)

Unlimited elation? Who doesn’t want that? It’s what George had when he woke up from a look at his lost life. It’s what we can have too.

When we take a cue from George and look at our lives through eyes of thanksgiving everything changes. Our hearts included.

Sweet friends, may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found through eyes of thanksgiving. May you look around you and know in your heart that it really is a wonderful life.


2 thoughts on “Today Was A Fairy Tale

    • There’s nothing like it! I have so many special memories of watching this movie with my dad it will always, always be a favorite!Thanks for sharing, Peter!

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