Encouraged by Complexity

I’ve been trying to write about how I felt after I read a New Yorker article about Madeleine L’Engle. 

I’ve been trying to tell you how encouraged I am by her complexity and imperfection.  How something in me responds when I think a person could be rejoiced over and treasured and loved by strangers as well as by those who are close to her when she was evidentally far from perfect.

I’ve been second guessing all of that because it’s really scary that someone who has so much insight about the ideal of marriage and family and life and faith could have struggled so much with all of the above, and could have been so desperate to live in denial of some really harsh realities in the lives of her family members.

I guess what it boils down to is that as I read more about Madeleine L’Engle, herself, I find that I’m challenged in the same way I am after reading her novels and books:  I’m challenged to accept the complexity of humanity as a whole and of the individuals in my life.  I’m challenged to embrace and accept the complexity…  to not to turn away from it…  to not judge it or be repulsed by it, but to look for how God’s transforming love is at work there.

So that’s what Madeleine L’Engle teaches me.  I think I’ll keep reading.


4 thoughts on “Encouraged by Complexity

  1. You know I’ve read all of her memoir type books and then had read several years ago how her family said those books and reality were two different things. I remember how bothered I was about that. Today I guess I would pray that God would show me where I am in denial. Of course I want to deny I have any denial in me but that’s another story. 🙂

  2. I am in the midst of research on L’Engle for a homeschoolers’ high-school English textbook I’m writing. Do you by any chance have info on what issue of the New Yorker (or even what year) that article appeared in? I’d really love to find it. . . .

  3. I just started my bookish blog, and my first post is all about my reaction to the New Yorker L’Engle profile, which is what made me decide to write the blog in the first place!

    It’s funny to see how the article moved us in different ways, but we both found it inspiring. I was more taken by the idea that everyday life had made it into such fantastical books.

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