L’Engle on the illusion of control

Here’s another excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art that struck me as worth posting and talking about. It’s from the essay titled “The Journey Homeward”:

When the priests came out of the sanctuary, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord, and the priests could not bear to minister because of the cloud for the glory of the Creator of the Galaxies had filled the house of the Lord.

When did we last see that light in the sanctuary of one of our churches, no matter what denomination or affiliation? Perhaps it is there, but we may not recognize it because we are afraid of it. We have become so bound by the restrictions of the choices made over the past centuries that we cannot see it. We are afraid of that which we cannot control; so we continue to draw in the boundaries around us, to limit ourselves to what we can know and understand. Thus we lose our human calling, because we do not dare to be creators, co-creators with God. Continue reading “L’Engle on the illusion of control”

L’Engle on icons of Naming

I had an unexpected reaction to Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art — on the one hand I found it sort of mundane and obvious. The themes she hits didn’t strike me as all that fresh or uncommon. On the other hand, the way she goes about describing them, and the way she threads in personal history with devotional discourse and aesthetics is quite nice, and I can see some writers of faith really bonding with this book. And, on one level, it was sort of comforting to see how the mundane (but difficult) attitudes, habits and faith of L’Engle operate in such a way that she was able to produce the great work that she did. That offers some hope to us Mormon toilers.

Here’s one excerpt worth sharing — I may post more:

Stories, no matter how simple, can be vehicles of truth; can be, in fact, icons. It’s not coincidence that Jesus taught almost entirely by telling stories, simple stories dealing with the stuff of life familiar to the Jews of his day. Stories are able to help us to become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses behind all art; to give a name to the cosmos we see despite all the chaos. Continue reading “L’Engle on icons of Naming”