Monday, September 24, 2012

Pray4America (part 4) - It's a Wonderful Life, America

It's a Wonderful Life
 - Clarence & George

I know ...

Christmas is three months away, and it's a bit early to talk about a great Christmas movie classic from the 1940s  ...

** It's a Wonderful Life **

But I will anyway.

George Bailey represented every man - a decent man, loving his family, living a good life, helping those he came across, making sacrifices, putting others first  And life was not easy as he came of age during the roaring 20s, struggled with a business during the Great Depression, and was left behind as his brother went off to fight in World War Two.  George's story has much of the flavor of Dickens' Christmas Carol from the Bob Cratchit point of view.

(For a great summary, check out - It's a Wonderful Life (1946) on Reel Classics.)

Then one Christmas Eve, everything in George's life went so wrong.  His nemesis, Henry Potter - the richest and meanest man in the county, seized a careless moment to set George up for bank fraud.  The bank auditors as well as the Sheriff were on George's tail.  Financial ruin, disgrace, and jail seemed inevitable.  Feeling despondent, believing he was worth more dead than alive - an idea planted by Mr. Potter, George contemplated suicide.

Heaven help George Bailey!

And heaven did.  At the end of his rope, George Bailey prayed.  And help came in the form of a guardian angel, Clarence, shown in the picture above.

Thwarting George's suicide attempt, Clarence granted George Bailey his wish - that he had never been born. Then the angle allowed George to see what life would be like without him.  I'll give you hint if you haven't seen the movie.  The lives of his family and friends as well as the town went to  ... erm, it rhymes with swell ... but life didn't turn out so swell.

Below is a scene of life without George though George seems a little slow realizing that he got what he had wished for and his does not exist in this universe.

Strange, isn't it.  
Each man's life touches so many other lives.  
When he isn't  around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?

The same could be said for a nation, which is just made of people multiplied by millions.

It's a Wonderful Life, America ...

When I was growing up, I had a sense that America was a noble nation.  Now, that notion seems shaken, especially watching the 24/7 news cycle, listening to commentators, pundits, propaganda.  It seems life in the world would be so better if America did not exist.  Right?

No guardian named Clarence materialized in my world.  But I do have a computer connected to the internet, and there is a wonderful site called  And I found this gem, imagining what the world would be like without America.

And of course, this video got many "dislikes" and snarky responses.  But it does pose an interesting question.  What would the world be like without America?  We can speculate.  Yet, I think the world would be much worse off.

Now, back to George and his wonderful life ...

To continue with the lessons of the movie, when seeing the world without him, George Bailey realized he really did have a wonderful life.  And in face of the difficult days ahead, he was grateful for the blessings he had and resolved to face his problems instead taking the final, irrevocable solution of ultimately abandoning everything and everybody - by killing himself.  (Way to go, Clarence!)

As a nation we may be in the same place as George Bailey. Difficult days are here and more are looming ahead.  Troubling times can shake us up and move us to humble ourselves and pray.  Like George Bailey's prayer - may the Good Lord show us the way.  May we learn not to trust in our own wisdom nor our might nor our wealth nor even our allies for help.

Such a call for prayer is made in this video, below.

In the Spring of 2012, this call came for the National Day of Prayer.

In the Fall, more calls continue as we go through another election cycle.  One such is from Max Lucado and the special site he set up -

40 Days of Prayer for the USA
Starting September 28, 2012

His website can be found her  -

Continue to pray for the nation for

Actions in Heaven 

begin when someone prays on earth ....


Previous posts in this series:

Pray4America (part 1) - National Day of Prayer (2012)

Pray4America (part 2) - FDR's prayer on D-Day (2012)

Pray4America (part 3) - FDR's Flag Day prayer - June 14, 1942  (2012)


Previous posts on similar subjects:

New Years 2012 - the Good worth fighting for! (2011)

America in Decline?! (2011)

A Royal Inspiration (2011)


Photo from Clarence, the Guardian Angel

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