Who is Mr. Carbunkle?
By: Debora M. Coty
In a dream this November, I was playing Clue (remember that board game from your childhood?) with three friendly strangers. We were each moving our pieces from room to room in the mysterious mansion trying to figure out who-done-it.
So far we knew it wasn’t Miss Scarlet in the parlor with a candlestick . . . or Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with a wrench.
With a voice bursting with sudden enlightenment, the player to my right announced, “Why, it’s Mr. Carbunkle!*”
My other two opponents and I looked at one another in bewilderment. Everyone knew there was no such character in this game.
It seemed my lot to state the obvious. “Who is Mr. Carbunkle?”
The words continued to ring in my head as I sat straight up in bed. I must have spoken the question aloud to jerk me awake so.
Who is Mr. Carbunkle?
And then I knew. I knew just as surely as if the Almighty had sent me an e-mail titled, “Hey, Deb, here’s your answer.”
I had been praying for several weeks about how Papa God would like me to use my writing tithe this year. It’s been my custom, for the nine years I’ve written professionally, to give away each December (anonymously, if possible) ten percent of that year’s income from my writing ministry to someone the Lord designates.
The sum isn’t really all that much in the grand scheme of things (contrary to popular belief, Christian writers don’t get rich), but it’s enough to bless somebody in their celebration of Christ’s birth with the knowledge that their Heavenly Father knows about their needs . . . and cares.
I thought about the only Mr. Carbunkle I knew—the one who attends our church, a quiet, unassuming man who’d been out of work for more than a year. I confess that I knew about his plight but hadn’t really given it much thought—or prayer—lately. Although he never complained, I knew his family must be struggling.
So Mr. Carbunkle it is.
You know, there are lots of Mr. Carbunkles out there who would be blessed mightily by a love-gift from you this Christmas. It doesn’t have to be money; it could be help with yard work, or home repairs, or a loaf of banana bread, or best of all, a gift of your time. Thirty minutes of your undivided attention for a lonely soul who needs to know Papa God knows his or her needs … and cares.
Who is your Mr. Carbunkle?
Don’t have a Clue? I know someone who does. Just ask Him.
*Name changed for privacy
***Debora Coty is an occupational therapist, a piano teacher, and a freelance writer. She's also involved in the children's ministry at her church and is an avid tennis player. Debora began writing to fill the void when her last child left for college, and it has since become a passion. Debora has a real knack for getting across sound biblical concepts with a refreshing lightheartedness as attested in her monthly newspaper column entitled "Grace Notes: God's Grace for Everyday Living." Look for Fear, Faith and a Fist Full of Chocolate in February of 2013.