The other night I did what many Americans do this time of year: I watched It’s A Wonderful Life. There are many reasons this movie is so popular, between the cast and the acting and a story that will surely tug at your heart. I can never make it without tears through the scene where little George Bailey returns to the druggist’s office with the tainted capsules undelivered only to have Mr. Gower box his ears before learning George wasn’t delinquent, he was saving Mr. Gower from a terrible mistake.
But this year, my daughter pointed out something I’d never really thought of before. Although the ending is surely a happy one for George, one fact remains —(spoiler alert for those few people on earth who haven’t yet seen the movie!)— Mr. Potter gets away with his evil deed.
Which got me thinking. What did Potter do with that money? He surely couldn’t have deposited it into his bank, or any accountant would spot the overage of such a large amount, unexplained, just when the Bailey Building and Loan account came short in the same amount. Furthermore, Potter isn’t just a miser, he’s a successful banker and businessman. Would he have been capable of just sitting on the money, without investing or using it in some way? Surely his heart is too black to have anonymously donated it to some good cause. And he certainly loved money too much to burn the evidence of his wrongdoing!
What about the mute minion pushing Potter’s wheelchair, who witnessed Potter’s discovery of the money and subsequent theft? We assume his loyalty is so great he won’t reveal his boss’s wrongdoing. But will he forever keep such a dastardly secret, when the entire town knows about the crime? Someday, on his deathbed or Potter’s, perhaps the truth will come out . . .
So goes the mind of a writer who is fascinated by well drawn characters! Thanks for taking this little whimsical trip down “what if” lane with me.
Merry Christmas! May you let yourself take the time to watch this story that reminds us of how precious is God’s gift of life—especially if we let ourselves be a friend to those God puts around us.