Winter has landed here, its cold hard boot slamming down on the country and its inhabitants with the force of a sledge hammer. We had been lulled into thinking it wouldn’t hit so hard this year. We’d only had a skiff of snow and a few days of chill, but nothing to be concerned about. So this icy blast is a bit of a jolt to us all. How quickly we forget the true face of winter, it’s harsh landscapes and bitter winds.
As I peer out my front window I shiver and pull my sweater tighter around me. The sun is just setting, the darkness dropping quickly behind the homes on the other side of the pond. It has caught a skater unaware. She continues to glide and weave across the small space as the light fades. And then it happens. Just for a moment the horizon glows, the light shimmers on the ice, the skater is thrown into a silhouette of fluid movement. And the beauty of it takes my breath away.
I am reminded that beauty is always there, just waiting to reveal itself, waiting to slip out of the darkness. I am blessed that I was there, in that moment, to see it, to be struck by it and to give thanks for it. It makes me realize that a big part of being a believer in Christ and a writer of faith, involves watching, waiting for the beauty. It is ours to bring these moments to light, to make them known to the world. We are the observers, the recorders, the ones who point and say, “Oh, look! Look!”
There is a great need for us to show the way to beauty in the world today, in the face of the images of wreck and ruin we constantly see in the media. There is no greater need for it than now. There is no greater need than for the world to know that beauty exists, that Christ was born to bring it back to us, to elevate it to the holy place where it was intended to be, because all beauty comes from the Father above.
Interesting, isn’t it, that the place of Jesus’ birth was likely not considered beautiful? It was a common, homely place. Some would even have said insignificant. But then there were those moments – the moment when that brightest of stars stopped over the spot where the Christ child lay, the moment when the angels revealed themselves in the skies near Bethlehem, the moment when their voices peeled out with the good news of His birth, the moment when kings bowed down and presented him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.
As we head into this new year let us all be watchful, waiting for those moments when The Christ is revealed through the beauty of this world. Let us all receive the blessing of those moments and then shout, “Oh, look! Look!”
"Go now, write on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness" (Isaiah 30:8).
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was also short listed for a Word Award. Marcia has three novels for middle grade readers and four devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.