Sunday, September 09, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle and Me

I know that others have said more, but I wanted to raise my own personal tribute to Madeleine L’Engle. I believe she was an evangelist of no mean merit. The Episcopal Life Online article is here.

Most articles have referred to her book, A Wrinkle in Time. That was, in fact, the first of a trilogy, completed with the books, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet. These were books of fantasy, perhaps; but they were books in which struggling with and living into the Christian faith were real and meaningful. I somehow missed Lewis’ Narnia books – too old, perhaps, or perhaps just between surges of popularity. But my youthful interest in science fiction brought me to A Wrinkle in Time; and L’Engle’s writing brought me to the other books.

I have long appreciated science fiction that takes seriously the Christian faith, and of faith in general. I thought much of Clarke’s “The Star” and “The Nine Billion Names of God.” On the other hand, as an adolescent who so wanted to figure out how to be a Christian in my own time and culture, the Wrinkle in Time trilogy simply brought me more. I found Lewis’ Perelandra trilogy interesting (Out of the Silent Planet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength), but they were in a sense too fantastic, too far out there for me to see their applicability. L’Engle, on the other hand, was right there with me. Certainly, the fact that the central characters were themselves adolescents meant something. But it was also, I think, that the faith was explicit in the stories. In the struggles I experienced in my life, that was important to me.

I know she meant much to many. This is what her work meant to me.

Rest eternal grant her, O God; and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul, with the souls of all the faithful departed, by the blood of the everlasting covenant rest in peace.


the Reverend boy said...

The Wrinkle in Time trilogy was definitely special, and will always be among my favourite books.

I am sure she is even now weaving new stories to tell her fans when we meet her in the nearer presence of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Wrinkle in Time is part of a tetrology, the last book being Many Waters. It is in many ways my favorite, and yes, it does concern Noah to some extent