I recently finished writing and editing a Christmas novella and thought I'd talk a little about it. Well aware that we human beings have experienced times of tragedy, confusion, depression, and various other calamities often at Christmas time, I couldn't write a simple all-is-well-and -happy novella for the season. I've had too many poverty stricken heart-breaking Christmases myself. Instead I wrote a story about The Far Side of Heaven.
Imagine a mountain town that looks like a jewel tucked away in the snow, with colorful lights and warm hearths. But of course what we see is not the happily-ever-after.
Like Lew, best friend and business partner tells our hero Dallas, who at the time is admiring the charm of the town. “Your poetic side has always baffled me. It’s frigging winter, we’ve got a flat tire and we’re twenty miles from a hot shower and a warm bed. And you’re creating Christmas jingles.”
The township of Meritville is experiencing hardship. Hundreds of acres of forest and homes went up in flame that summer, and many people's lives came to ruin. Some of them moved away, leaving Meritville a shell of a city.
Our heroine of the story, Charlene Donne, is not only scarred by the forest fire because she lost her ranch and must now live in a room above her shop, but she also recently experienced a brutal divorce. Loneliness and scars of the past that shape our future can leave us hopeless. When a physical storm adds to the sorrow, we feel we've fallen into the deepest pit.
But for those who are Believers, we know there is a window that God props open. He'll prop it open for anyone, but it's the faithful who look up and see it.
For Charlene the cold and brutal blizzard that swept through Meritville on Christmas Eve itself became the bearer of good fortune.
The story hints at Christianity, miracles, and the Love of Christ as well as the love we're asked to show to others. That is the greatest blessing of all, to give rather than receive, even when there isn't much to give. I think you'll find this little 84 page Christmas story enchanting, and perhaps encouraging. Hope is always there, one peek away if you just take the time to let it shine.