Claire L. Eva, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries
Summary: Gibbie, a character from classic author, George MacDonald, shared from his heart—giving wisely to the lovely and unloving alike. This editorial challenges us to share as Christ shared and describes how people filled with the Spirit act.
Clive Staples Lewis once wrote: ?I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him.? Who is this ?master? Lewis speaks of? George MacDonald—leading novelist, poet, and Christian fantasy writer of Victorian Britain.
Because I appreciate Lewis so much, I decided to read more of MacDonald’s works. Just this weekend I finished The Baronet’s Song, (originally entitled, Wee Sir Gibbie of the Highlands).*
In brief, Gibbie is a young mute child and son of an alcoholic cobbler who drinks away his meager earnings. Hungry and ill-clad, Gibbie roams the city streets day and night. He often steals away in the darkness to lead his drunken father home. But when his father dies, Gibbie wanders the expansive countryside in search of a place where he can belong.
From the beginning, the author reveals Gibbie’s character as that of a joyous boy with a beautiful heart. Gibbie shares whatever he has. When cruelly mistreated, he does not retaliate. The thought that he could possibly be a ?victim? doesn’t enter his mind. His only response is love. Sound too good to be true?
Where does the lad get all his joy? Gibbie is MacDonald’s ideal of true Christianity. And he awakens the desire in me to want to be like Gibbie.
When Jesus stood in His hometown church and read His ?Magna Carta? or great charter of liberty, He described how people act when they are filled with God’s Spirit: ?The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor? (Lk 4:18, 19).
As we contemplate what it means to share with others— from our little or from our much—may we do so with a joyous heart like Gibbie’s.
*From The Poet and the Pauper: Bethany House, 2002.