While I was listening to Bing Crosby croon, “Good King Wenceslas,” the news was full of worrisome confusion about how to handle refugees fleeing from barbaric war conditions. Bing sang about a good king and his page, who walked through deep snow in a winter storm to care for a poor man. In this Christmas carol written in 1853, the good king was modeled on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907-935).
This song of one man who decided to care for one other, cut through the morass of modern media’s detailing of difficulties that had weighed me down. The king delt with danger, discomfort, and a helper who needed help, yet the end result was blessing. The song describes the age-old idea of one person caring, and figuring out a way to help one other. The song is remarkable because that one passionate person was a king, who could have easily ignored a peasant’s need, yet he went himself, not waiting even for morning. This carol’s king ultimately reminds me of the King of all kings, who himself came to help us all.
My oil painting of “Good King Wenceslas” is reproduced on my Christmas card this year. You can find it in my aspenshimmers web site store.