Day Off with L’Engle

In L'Engle on July 5, 2008 at 11:25 pm

I just finished reading my third book by Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet.  This is the third installment of the ‘Wrinkle in Time’ series.  L’Engle expands her notion of kything – a fictional idea used to explore the power of prayer.  On the wings of a unicorn named Guadior, Charles Wallace moves forward and backward through time seeking to resolve a major world crisis in his current time.

I like to keep a steady diet of fiction on my plate.  My reading schedule can get out of control though, when I am not careful about what I take on.  Currently, I have four or five books open.  Finishing this book reminded me of the power of fiction.  I enjoy how authors such as L’Engle, CS Lewis, MacDonald and others can surface deep truths without claiming to be an authority.  As opposed to science, stories seem much more trustworthy to me; because, they acknowledge that the reader has the ability to attach authority to its ideas.  Stories do not earn a title or degree by which people can esteem them.

L’Engle did a clever job of expanding ideas and creating possibilities through the use of fiction.  For instance, L’Engle creates illustrations of prayer, which can aid us in understanding the full scope of what prayer can be.  The main characters, Meg and Charles Wallace, are connected by a bond that feels, hears and essentially empathizes with the other’s experience.  It illustrates a connectedness, empathy, and conversation that is characteristic of prayer.  By no means, do I think kything as L’Engle portrays it is meant to be a literal and allegorical representation of prayer.  But, it bears some similarities.

So, I am off to the library to return this work of fiction and acquire a new one.  As far as non-fiction, I have two books open currently: Richard Foster’s book on Prayer and Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart.  Both have been open for sufficient lengths of time.  Both are heavy hitters and I still need to balance my diet with some fiction.

I hope you all had a great Fourth of July!


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