Dark Trees – M. Laycock

There are three trees across the road from my house. In the
spring they bloom like any other tree, into a lovely pale green, but then, as
the leaves mature, they turn a dark burgundy. At times they look black. I don’t
like those trees. They make me think of horror movies and dark, unnatural
things. I don’t want to look at them because I don’t want to be confronted with
unpleasant things.

But the reality is that unpleasant things, even dark and
evil things, populate our world. I was reminded of this today as I listened to
a writer talk about his novel. I admire this man. He’s a talented writer and
the subject of his book is not a light topic. It’s one that makes us shiver,
one that makes us cringe. He spoke eloquently about how difficult it was to
write the book, because it was personally painful for him. Yet he persevered
because he believed the story had to be told.
He also said that he’s been asked why the book doesn’t
emphasize the dark side of the topic more. He’s been criticized for stopping
too soon as the story exposed the evil. But he said “that wasn’t all there
was to the story – that’s not what it’s about. It’s about redemption,
reconciliation and healing. It’s about the human capacity to reclaim
As I listened to this man read from his book, I was moved
not only by the beauty of the language but by the reality that the darkness
will never win. Because it is in the darkness that the light shines bright. It
is in the darkness that the light draws attention to itself. I’ve seen this
firsthand in hospital corridors where the bravery of the human spirit shines
forth. I’ve seen it in a jungle where fear and bondage are broken by the truth.
I’ve seen it in the eyes of an abused child who comes to believe at last that she
is loved by an almighty God.
So now I’m thankful for those dark trees across from my
house. They are reminders that when life turns dark, when evil and chaos seems
to be winning, the light will always reveal itself. God’s truth will be made
known and the nobility of the human spirit will shine through because it is
made in God’s image.
And I’m thankful that, as Carolyn Arends sings, “Love
was here first.” God’s design was for beauty and order and harmony. All
the brokenness that sin brought into the world so long ago cannot change that.
Nor can it change the fact that love will triumph in the end. I’m thankful that
I have seen the light of this love even though I’ve had to sometimes endure the
darkness in order to understand the depth of it.
As we move into the Christmas season, let’s remember – “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on
those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

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 and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been
endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia’s
second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary
fiction category of The
Word Awards
. Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for
writers can be downloaded here.
Visit Marcia’s website


Marcia’s Christmas novella, An Unexpected Glory is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo