The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey = 10 down, 90 to go

26 Dec

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Susan Wojciechowski
P.J. Lynch (illustrator)
40 pages

It is a rare book that tugs at my heartstrings and hangs there forcing it to be noticed. And how perfect that it was on Christmas — the one holiday that among all the others reminds me most of years of treasured family memories.

I picked up this book this afternoon at the recommendation of my significant other’s grandmother. She told me it was a wonderful book and that I should be prepared for some tears. Agreed.

The story begins with a look at the talented woodcarver, Jonathan Toomey, who answers his door one winter’s day to find a woman and her son asking him to create a beautiful nativity scene to replace a cherished one they’ve lost.

You learn as you read through this treasure that Mr. Toomey lost his wife and infant son years ago. Because of this, he has retreated from life and buried himself in his work.

Over the time Mr. Toomey is carving the nativity, the woman and her son visit his studio as the boy wants to watch him at work. Mr. Toomey reluctantly allows them to stay. During their visits, Mr. Toomey slowly warms to widow and her son. As he creates each piece, the son guides the woodcarver through the meaning of each piece, including a cow that is proud that his stable was chosen for the birth of Jesus, three wise men dressed in their finest robes and a Joseph that vigilantly protects his wife and child. Mr. Toomey works for hours and hours to create pieces that reflect the son’s insights into each of the characters.

When it comes time to carve the Virgin Mary and her son, he sketches and sketches without any success. Finally, he takes from a drawer long neglected a charcoal sketch of his wife and infant son. On Chirstmas day, the woman and her son are surprised by a knock on the door. Mr. Toomey delivers their nativity scene, which includes a mother adoring her newborn son, just in time to be part of their Christmas celebration. The three of them enjoy the beautiful work of art and then head out hand in hand for Christmas Day services.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was touched by its moving story. This book is a Christmas classic that every family should own and share.


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