Thankfulness – Madeleine L’Engle

Yellow leafIt’s become popular in the last few years to do thirty days of thankfulness in November as we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving. I’d like to expand on that idea this month and write about the books and authors I’m thankful for.

I can’t write about the authors I’m thankful for without beginning with Madeleine L’Engle. Madeleine (I feel we’d call each other by our first names if I’d had the chance to know her) has had a deep impact on my desire to write and the types of stories I choose.

Most people are familiar with A Wrinkle in Time, her Newbery award winning book. L’Engle persevered through 26 rejections before finding a publisher for her book. Anyone who writes knows the sting of rejection and how hard it is to continue when those ‘noes’ begin to pile up. Yet Madeleine didn’t give up on her science fiction story when others told her it was too adult, too strange and too overtly Christian. Lucky for us.

Of course, A Wrinkle in Time is just one of five books in the series, and if you haven’t read Planetsthe others, you should do so right after you finish reading this blog. All of the books are equally wonderful in their eccentric plots and settings, from traveling inside the body to traveling to other worlds, to traveling into the past to a Biblical story. Madeleine centered her stories around the big questions. Why are we here? Why does evil exist? How do we live in the midst of evil? Is God real? Does He love us? These are the same questions many kids are asking themselves as they grow into adults, and questions adults continue to ask.

L’Engle’s other books range from autobiographical to the Austin Family Chronicles to her thoughts on spirituality. All of them encourage me in some way or another to push the boundaries of my known world. Her deep interest in science and the way the universe works spurs on my own interest in these topics. Her unwavering faith and eloquent interpretation of what it means to be a Christian help me understand my own faith.

Without a doubt I’m thankful for the written legacy Madeleine left for me and for many others for generations to come.

 

Stars and Trees at NightHere’s a few of my favorite Madeleine L’Engle books.

Many Waters

Glimpses of Grace

A Ring of Endless Light

A Circle of Quiet

 

 

Night Time with Stars in Sky Image courtesy of moggara12, Autumn Maple Leaves Image courtesy of Aduldej, and Planet and Star Background Image courtesy of Photokanok, all at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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