By Jerry B. Jenkins and Dallas Jenkins
Midnight Clear brings characters to life who face a different Christmas from the joy-filled celebration that most of us enjoy . . . Mary and Mitch, for whom Christmas is the anniversary of the death of their husband and friend, respectively; Eva, an older woman estranged from her children and with no will to go on; Lefty, a lonely man without home and job, who turns to alcohol; and Kirk, a gas station owner , forced to work on Christmas Eve.
This novella, which takes place during the hours of Christmas Eve, packs a lot more meat than one would expect. You become attached to the characters, which is often difficult in such a short book, and you may even be challenged to examine your faith.
In one scene, Pastor Mark says to Mitch: "Show them (teenagers) a faith that's strong enough to make them want to do things they wouldn't normally do." I always hate it when challenged to get out of my comfort zone, yet that seems to be when God's working is most visible in my life.
Another takeaway from this book is the reminder that we will face hardships, but we never walk alone. Mary reflects: "Disaster prevention was never promised as a benefit of her faith. And perhaps that's what God was about - showing Himself faithful in a world thrown off course by humans with free will."
Nothing is tied up neatly with a bow at the end, but there is the realism of forgiveness, grace and hope - which is the gift of Christmas after all.