Why Tiny Tim Says “God Bless Us, EVERY ONE”

Posted: Dec 31, 2018 10:20 AM
Why Tiny Tim Says “God Bless Us, EVERY ONE”

Tim's final words in the story of A Christmas Carol (though not his final words on earth -- he went on to live) were also of great theological import: "God bless us every one!" 

In the context of the story, this is the final nail (perhaps a door nail) in the coffin of zero sum game economic thinking. The Ghost of Christmas present uses the example of Tiny Tim as a rebuttal to Scrooge's Malthusian fallacy:

"“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
 Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.
 “Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”"

Tim is exactly the sort of person the population panic party was worried about: poor, from a large family, weak, lame. But the Ghost/Angel proclaims that Tim might well be of far greater worth to heaven than someone like Scrooge. Why? Because Tim declares the glory of God. Tim redeems his suffering by seeing in it a way to remind people of the deeds of Jesus. 

When Jesus was asked, in regards to a man born blind, who sinned, the man or his parents, Jesus said neither, but that the man was born blind so that the glory of God could be revealed. 

Tim seems to see his own life the same way. He was born lame so that Jesus could be remembered and glorified. 

But heaven has an even better plan. Tim was born that way so that God could be glorified through the transformation of Scrooge and through the healing of Tim.

That is the meaning of Tim's benediction, not just 'God bless us.' But 'God bless us - EVERY ONE'. God bless even the 'surplus population', or perhaps especially the 'surplus population'. Tim's auto-benediction is in fact a benediction of all mankind, a statement of the universality of human dignity under God.

And this brings us back to the title of the story, A Christmas Carol. The baby Jesus was so intensely seen as surplus population that he was targeted as part of an extermination project of the toddlers of Bethlehem. Herod was such a good little zero population growth eugenicist who viewed life so cheaply that he had no hesitation in exterminating all the little boys in Bethlehem just to make sure. He could have only singled out boys born at exactly the right time who were descendants of David, and refrained from killing the rest. But why not kill them? There were plenty of poor little boys where they came from. Little boys were a denarius a dozen. But Jesus was far more worthy in the sight of heaven then Herod. That’s what makes the story of the salvation of Scrooge into the salvation of Tiny Tim, and that’s what makes that story A Christmas Carol.

God bless us, EVERY ONE.