Books & Culture, January/February 2008
Madeleine L'Engle (1918–2007)
by Luci Shaw
Madeleine L'Engle. A powerful woman, large-hearted, fearless, quixotic, profoundly imaginative, unwilling to settle for mediocrity. Tall and queenly, she physically embodied her mental and spiritual attributes. I remember occasions when, in church during Advent, she would rise to full height, spread her arms wide like the Angel of the Annunciation, and declare, "Fear not!" in a tone that allowed no gainsaying. It was a challenge impossible to ignore.
She loved God and his children, but this didn't keep her from questioning and questing in pursuit of truth, which she never equated with fact. Without ever being a scientist herself, she had an uncanny understanding of some of the principles of physics, and the thrust of her life was to integrate her sense of the largeness, diversity, and unity of the universe with the spiritual principles she found in Scripture and her daily practice and rule of life.
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