Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oliver Twist and a Sine from God

Dear John,
I'm having literary musings tonight. Odd, but somehow typical for my mind to go wandering. Bless you, you always enjoyed wandering with it, and wanted to know what strange things were bubbling up in my head.
I was working some more on Christmas presents for Saturday, and out of nowhere I remembered when Bill Sykes kills Nancy. I have no idea what brought that to mind. So I was pondering the fact that Oliver Twist witnessed the murder, and no matter how rich he was at the end of the book, he'd have to carry that memory for the rest of his life.
That led me to meditate on Charles Dickens' propensity for coincidence. At least, that's what I was taught in school. But that may not be right. Think about Dickens' dates. He wrote in a time and place that held a strong belief in the providence of God. I doubt that many of his original readers would have characterized these things as coincidence.
You have been measured and found a decibel short
and a meter slow.
I'm not surprised that it's seen that way today. We live in an age of atheism, when lives are seen to be controlled by impersonal forces, and the miraculous is scorned. And this is where understanding history requires some understanding of church history and historical theology. You can't understand an era without understanding its religion. And the people Dickens wrote for had a very strong belief in miracles and in the providence of God.
It's just a thought. But, hey, I had one today, so that's good. I probably should have run this by Becky before talking to you about it. If she says I'm nuts, I'll come back and tell you. And you won't be surprised, but we'll have had fun speculating on it.
I miss your mind. I miss talking to you for hours about some random thought that one of us had, bouncing ideas off of each other and testing them, puzzling over obscure things. Ponder this one, and let me know what you think. And I'll tell you if Becky says I'm crazy. I promise. And enjoy the picture - great pun, isn't it?
Adore you,


  1. You are exactly right, Joan! And you don't need to get my approval for any of your ideas, literary or otherwise! I guess Dickens (though he didn't necessarily live a very Christ-like life) held the typical Christian views of his time, though he was aware of so much of the hypocrisy of the Victorian era and exposed it for what it was. His plots were rather preposterous, weren't they, but his characters and descriptions were superb! Funny how Nancy's murder came to mind, esp. at Christmas, when most would be thinking of Scrooge, I guess, but who's to explain the random thoughts of the well-read?! At least you have them, and today, with the atheism and low-information mindset, that's rare and precious! Keep blogging, my dear friend! xoxox

  2. I have no clue what made me think of Nancy's murder! I value your opinion, especially since this is your area of specialty! I can read an EKG and deal with a ventilator, but I hesitate to opine on so august a figure as Dickens. :)