Madeleine L’Engle in Glimpses of Grace

Madeleine L’Engle is (was) an amazing author.


If you have a chance – take a minute to read something she wrote. Sadly, she passed away recently. Here is one of my favorite L’Engle quotes: “Why does anybody tell a story?” Ms. L’Engle once asked, even though she knew the answer. “It does indeed have something to do with faith,” she said, “faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.”

A good friend of ours (Ali), sent this L’Engle quote to us recently…

“God comes into our places of pain. I do not want ever to be indifferent to the joys and beauties of this life. For through these, as through pain, we are enabled to see purpose in randomness, pattern in chaos. We do not have to understand in order to believe that behind the mystery and the fascination there is love.

In the midst of what we are going through this summer I have to hold on to this, to return to the eternal questions without demanding an answer. The questions worth asking are not answerable. Could we be fascinated by a Maker who was completely explained and understood? The mystery is tremendous, and the fascination that keeps me returning to the questions affirms that they are work asking, and that any God worth believing in is the God not only of the immensities of galaxies I rejoice in at night when I walk the dogs, but also the God of love who cares about the sufferings of us human beings and is here, with us, for us, in our pain and in our joy.

I come across four lines of Yeats and copy them down:

But Love has pitched her mansion in

The place of excrement;

For nothing can be sole or whole

That has not been rent.

The place of excrement. That is where we are this summer. How do we walk through excrement and keep clean in the heart? How do we become whole by being rent?

This summer is not the first time I have walked through the place of excrement and found love’s mansion there. Indeed, we are more likely to find it in the place of excrement than in the sterile places. God comes where there is pain and brokenness, waiting to heal, even if the healing is not the physical one we hope for.”


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