A Light in the Darkness by Marji Laine
Today’s special guest is Marji Laine, a homeschooling mom of four with the oldest working in the mission field in Africa. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. With decades of leading worship, directing and performing in theatre productions, and script-writing, Marji took the plunge to creating scintillating Christian romance and romantic suspense novels with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.
When Ruby visited Paris, one of the things that struck her was the golden and pink glow, the ethereal quality of the Eiffel Tower, and the festive lights along the Champs-Élysées. I can empathize with Ruby. I confess, when it comes to lights at Christmas, I’m a kid at heart.
Every year, my sweet hubby and my girls don my house with its Christmas lighting. It’s like a date-night for them, but I get the benefits of having my home look so pretty. The wonder and magic of Christmas lights should be long gone for my teenage girls, but I guess they take after their mom and love them as much as I do.
And why should they not? Isn’t Christmas the very time in which we should encourage the childlike hearts we tend to squelch the rest of the year in favor of responsibility, ambition, and priorities? After all, wasn’t the child whose birth we celebrate called the Light of the World? Ponder that a moment.
In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The song Amazing Grace says, “Was blind, but now I see.” I’ve had the experience of blindness in the depths of a cavern one time when they turned all of the lights off. And I’ve heard that people can experience the effect for fun at restaurants sprinkled all over the world in which truly blind and sight-challenged hosts and waiters serve sighted people in a pitch black environment. The restaurant here in Dallas is called Opaque and, yes, I’m tempted!
(I’m told that the bathrooms have dim lights. Good thinking. But I digress …)
In those restaurants, sighted people must have help to do everything. With their vision taken away, they are incapable of functioning properly. (Can I just insert here, that I’d prefer a full apron and a matching bib with my napkin, please?) While I can imagine the experience is enlightening (no pun intended) I’m thinking that returning to the outside world would be a relief! Especially since a seeing person who struggles through a meal without the sense of sight would know what she is missing.
I can’t help but think of that darkness when I think of Israel during the time of Christ’s birth. Mired in religious rules and propriety, they missed the relationship with the Father. But unlike a sighted person in a pitch-black restaurant, the people of Israel didn’t realize their lack. Jesus came to be a light for them. Showing them the blindness they didn’t know they had, and then providing a way for them to overcome the malady.
A Light to the darkness. He comes to illuminate us all. “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)
Ruby Joy Buckner, cowgirl, has never left the Lone Star State, but at her father’s request, she takes her faithful canine companion and travels the world in search of Nativity pieces. As Ruby collects the pieces, she also collects a few unexpected surprises, including an awareness of the beauty in other cultures, and quite a menagerie of new friends, thanks in part to Yippee Ti Yi Yo who charms everyone they meet.
Ruby’s budding awareness of life outside Texas opens her eyes to a world of whimsy, and the Nativity pieces she collects are unusual. Will her father approve her eclectic collection … and the changes that travel brought to Ruby’s life?
Marji’s chapter of A Ruby Christmas (Ruby in Paris) is posted on the Write Integrity Press blog. We hope you’ll also take part in our Altered Photo Contest. Check out the unaltered photos posted each day on the Write Integrity Press blog and then visit that day’s author’s website (Today you’ll visit Marji’s website) for a look at the altered photo. Keep a list because on December 13, we’ll ask you to send in your list. Those with the most correct answers will be eligible for a drawing. The prize? A bundle of all of our books in PRINT and DIGITAL (for giving and/or keeping) formats. The winner will be announced Tuesday, December 17, but rest assured, the books will be shipped in time for Christmas. (Continental U.S. Residents only for print books. If an international winner is chosen, they may receive two sets of digital books for gift giving).
Last year’s Write Integrity Press novella: The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt is also available on Kindle.