H is for — Jasper Holt from Grace Livingston Hill’s The Finding of Jasper Holt.
Jasper Holt is a character few will likely know. He’s the type of hero I’m always drawn to — the misunderstood man everyone thinks is a bad guy, when really he isn’t. He keeps to himself, lives by his own code of honor, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of him. His heart of gold is deeply buried, a well-kept secret.
Until, that is, he rescues a young woman during a train wreck. He treats her like a gentleman and makes sure she gets back to her family unharmed. She sees beyond his hard outer shell and staunchly defends him to all her relatives and friends who don’t believe her when she tells them who rescued her. In the end, they finally see his true character.
I first started reading Grace Livingston Hill’s Christian romances in my early teens. The wonderful, spiritually moving stories gave me shining examples of how relationships should be, with heroes and heroines who treat themselves and others with respect and where love means — as Olaf, the snowman from Disney’s Frozen, so eloquently put it: “That’s when you put someone else’s needs before your own.”
The Finding of Jasper Holt was originally published in 1915. Hill wrote over 100 novels, and I’ve read most all of them — some of them many times. The uplifting stories of perseverance, love, and faith always leave me with a smile.