Over the last few weeks, my husband has been reading to our boys from a book called ‘Treasures of the Snow’. There’s been much anticipation each evening as to what is going to happen in the next chapter, and our eldest in particular has been completely enthralled by the story.
While Rufus sits himself, favourite cuddly ‘zebby’ in hand to listen, Billy skitters around the edges, often hanging upside down off the sofa. He claims to not be listening, but is quick to interject when the story is being re-told or if anyone asks about Annette and Lucien (the main protagonists in the tale).
It’s been precious times, and all the more so for it being Daddy reading rather than Mummy. It’s very much been ‘boys’ time’, and it fills my heart to see such delight as they settle in for the next instalment.
The tale itself is rich with carefully crafted storytelling and deep truths that stir the heart. The shocking start sees a kitten being thrown down a ravine, with its young owner following and falling as he tries to rescue it. While the realities of the accident are gripping, it’s the internal workings of the young characters that really grab the reader. Matters of the heart are threaded through the story as people grapple with anger, revenge, forgiveness and letting the light overcome the darkness.
Annette’s godly, kindly grandmother asks her one day how the darkness is banished in the morning as the family awakes, and people begin to stir. She points out that they don’t spend the first minutes of the morning shooing, sweeping and urging the darkness to leave. Instead, they open the shutters and let in the light. Within seconds, the darkness has been overcome and the day has arrived.
Annette is battling anger, and other dark thoughts, in her heart and has desperately been trying to sort herself out. In a sense, she’s been attempting to sweep the darkness out of her heart. But her grandmother is pointing to the light of the world, to Jesus Christ himself, as the means of banishing the shadows. Rather than scrabbling to sideline the darkness, it’s about welcoming life-giving, heart changing Light.
As the dust settles on Christmas, and I begin to look towards another year, I find vague resolutions begin to fill my mind. Read more books, get fitter, be a better Christian…and all the rest. ‘Treasures of the Snow’ comes to mind though, and I think to myself that 2022 should be the year when I do all I can to welcome the Light, resting in Jesus and running His way in every sense. Doing giving way to resting in what Christ himself has already done, and what He continues to do in me and through me for His light-giving glory.