Christmas Town: Chapter Seven, Part 1
Well, I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to hear this, but life sucks for Jordan.
The decorations are being taken from the building where they’re stored, and down from a couple of buildings where they’re already up. And it sucks to be the movers, too, as they have to deal with the angry shouts and the tears of the women and children.
Yep, apparently the teachers did just let the kids run out into the streets and witness the moving of Christmas decorations. That way, they can watch it all and cry. It’s one of those moments they’ll remember forever. Thanks, teachers of Bethlehem!
And people are coming from the mill, too, so I guess the whole town just decided to STOP LIFE because of this event. No wonder the mill is in such disarray if the whole town just goes out into the streets with pitchforks every time something unexpected happens.
Then again, this probably is the most exciting thing to happen in Bethlehem in at least fifty years…
Needless to say, Jordan feels like shit, but it’s worth remembering that it was either sell the decorations or…not pay anybody for the month of December.
“And Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr. Scoville!” someone shouted as Jordan elbowed his way through the crowd.
“Scrooge!” came the cry from another direction.
Yes, it’s perfectly natural to think Jordan is Scrooge. Because things were going so fantastically in this town before he showed up.
Hmmm, thought Joella, I wonder if this selling off of the Christmas decorations has anything to do with the fact that the mill is closing and at least one of the guys who’s been running it for years is a doddering old fool? Nahhh…
I get that Jordan feels like he can’t tell anybody the truth about the Uncle Billys pissing away the mill workers’ future, but they still all knew that they weren’t living exactly in a boom town. I understand the emotional need to find someone to blame, but this animosity has, according to Joella herself, been going on since Jordan rolled into town. It doesn’t make the townsfolk look like warm, good people. It makes them look irrational and naive.
Jordan is honestly starting to have some concern for his own safety (!) when Joella calms down the entire town through TEH POWER OF PRAYER.
“Pray with me,” she was saying to the people around her. “It’s the only thing we can do. Our anger can’t make a difference, but our prayers can.”
The entire town of Bethlehem was praying, hands linked, voices stripped of their rage.
So, basically, they’re pulling a Whoville, except the Grinch didn’t steal the Christmas hoopla—he sold it so the Whos could get paid.
Jordan heard the familiar words. Deliver us from evil.
Anger swept through him. He supposed he was the evil they all hoped to be delivered from. How could he even blame them for believing it?
I would just like to point out here that Jordan, the hard-hearted non-church-goer, is being far more charitable and empathetic with the townspeople than they are being with him.
Jordan also agrees with me about the efficacy of prayer:
“It’s not going to work, you know,” he said [to Joella]. “Your God isn’t going to change my mind.”
YOU ROCK, JORDAN.
“I’m not praying for God to change your mind. I’m just praying for God’s will to be done.”
Maybe God’s will is for the Christmas decorations to go bye-bye, Joella. You sanctimonious, manipulative…
Seriously, this is what I don’t get about prayer. If God really is omniscient and omnipotent, then he knows what everyone wants, and is doing what he wants anyway. Why bother asking God for anything (even for his own will to be done) when I have been told a thousand times that God already knows what is in our hearts?
As Venita pointed out in a previous chapter, there is “nothing reasonable” about the town’s reaction to Christmas. Because losing their jobs and their homes might be one thing, but now the town’s Christmas decorations (which never even belonged to the townsfolk in the first place) have been sold, now they have a reason to get angry.
Man, I am tired tonight.
The Grinch Jordan beats a hasty retreat, and we’ll catch up with him tomorrow.