Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season (Plough Publishing House)
Light that shines out of darkness, life that comes from death, and newness of life that comes out of the barren Earth, all these themes encapsulate the beauty of the stories in Easter Stories : Classic Tales for the Holy Season published by Plough Publishing. With writers such as C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov and others, these short stories are sure to open your eyes this Easter season.
My daughter and I read together the first story about the white lily and were amazed at the narrative. One doesn’t know his own dirtiness until he looks at the radiance of something so pure and clean. The story reminded me of two things so very important in regards to faith; one, that the kindness of a stranger can make an immediate impact on the way we live out our lives of faith and two, that the beauty of the lily pointing to the Christ figure dispels all the gloominess and sin in our lives. I was amazed at even how Jane Clement managed to include a change of appearances and attitude in the dog Rubles.
Included in the selection of stories is one by Leo Tolstoy called Two Old Men. In it, two men, Efim and Elisha, both set out to go to Jerusalem to worship God. Efim was a steady man of some means who lived a straight life, and Elisha was a man who kept bees, not poor but not rich, a peaceable man who still liked to drink and chew snuff. Upon journeying toward Jerusalem, Elisha visits a house where the wife and son are dying because of starvation. Upon seeing their dire need, Elisha gives them bread, stays a while and begins to think about leaving. Yet, as he wakes up the next morning he stays and helps out with the hut, buying and making food, and going to church with the family. He foregoes an opportunity to stay with Efim on his trip to Jerusalem an brings hope to one family. Finally, at the end of the story Efim stops by this hut and they tell of the wonderful bald-headed man who came to help them. Efim realizes it must’ve been Elisha and hurries back home to check on Elisha.
Stories like these increase our ability to see the love of God and love of neighbor as central to the Christian story. The narratives here lift up the life of faith in real and tangible ways that we sometimes miss when they are put in moral maxim forms. Plough Publishing has also done a wonderful job at putting well-known authors with lesser known authors, giving the book a good compilation of authors.
Thanks to Handlebar and Plough Publishing for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.