10 Thoughts I Admire from Madeleine L’engle

Every day I review the notes that my wife transcribed for me in each of the books I’ve read. (Here’s the entirety of my education)

One of those books is Walking on Water by Madeline L’engle (Author of A Wrinkle in Time).  Here are some things I pulled from it, and my thoughts (big or small) accompanied with them:

“A sad fact which nevertheless needs to be faced is that a deeply committed Christian who wants to write stories or paint pictures or compose music to the glory of God simply may not have been given the talent, the gift, which a non-Christian, or even an atheist, may have in abundance”

So true. Just look at how poor the Video Game Scene with Christian works. In books, Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia are heroic achievements.

“And I copied in my journal from Tchekov’s letters: “You must once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite quietly, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures”

Just some reassurance about the path I’m taking, and more ammunition to shoot down the resistance in my head.

“Stories, no matter how simple, can be vehicles of truth; can be, in fact, icons. It’s no 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”

Sometimes I wonder if I’m wasting my talents that the Lord gave me by pursuing this creative end that has yet to yield fruit. This is a bit of a comfort.


“Finally he looked at me and said calmly, “Who are you to think you are better than our Lord? After all, he was singularly unsuccessful with a great many people”

Being an omnipotent God doesn’t mean that He can force people to follow Him while still retaining their free will. God’s gift of free will allows them to choose to not have God.

“In the novels and stories which have always meant the most to me, and to which, as both child and adult, I return and return, I find the same thing: the unqualified younger son finishes the quest where the qualified elder brothers fail because they think they can do it themselves”

I still sometimes think I can do things without God. He’s blessed me with so many talents, “I’ll just figure it all out myself.” Not so.

“Pain is not always creative; received wrongly, it can lead to alcoholism and madness and suicide. Nevertheless, without it we do not grow”

With the pain I’ve endured in life, it’s nice to remember that I’ve grown from it.


“But if women are to be free to choose to pursue a career as well as marriage, they must also be free to choose that making of a home and the nurture of a family as their vocation; that was Meg’s choice, and a free one, and it was as creative a choice as if she had gone on to get a PhD. in quantum mechanics” –

I think women who choose to stay home are considered weak in this feminist society. I think they should be seen as equals to those who choose to work.

“Whether a story is to be marketed for grown-ups or for children, the writer writes for himself, out of his own need, otherwise the story will lack reality”

Reinforcement to create work that appeals to myself firstmost.

“No matter how unstructured may seem the painter’s garret in Paris or the poet’s pad in Greenwhich Village, the artist must have some kind of order or he will produce a very small body of work. To create work of art, great or small, is work, hard work, and work requires discipline and order” –

Reinforcement that I need to get on a schedule, something I’ve been struggling with since I started.