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Friday, September 14, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle - author of A WRINKLE IN TIME - has passed away

It happened last week, and I've been so wrapped-up in things that I haven't had time to keep up with most of the news lately. It was on Jenna Olwin's blog that I heard that Madeleine L'Engle had passed away at the age of 88.

Words fail to describe how heartbroken I'm feeling right now at hearing this news.

When I was in elementary school, there was this "book club" thing that our teachers always took part in: we'd get these circulars from the club and go over them with our parents and they'd send us to school with the form and checks for payment and a week or so later we'd get our stuff at school. 'Twas a lot of fun actually. Well when I was ten and in fourth grade we got that month's circular and one of the books was A Wrinkle In Time. One of my best friends told me it was an "awesome book" and so I got Mom to order it.

That was 23 years ago. And you know what? I've still got that same copy of A Wrinkle In Time sitting on my bookshelf. Wherever I've gone over the years, whether off to college or to live and work in Asheville or in our home as a married man, A Wrinkle In Time has gone with me. It's amazing that it's still in as good a condition as it is, given how many times I've read this copy.

And then when Lisa and I started dating, on the very first trip that she took with me to my hometown of Reidsville to meet my parents, we were in Barnes & Noble in Greensboro one night before going to see a movie and I bought her a copy of A Wrinkle In Time, too. 'Twas the first book that I ever gave her. She loved it too.

Suffice it to say, there are few books that ever impacted me more than did L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time.

You know what was so wonderful about that book to me? Because reading it as a ten-year old kid, it opened my eyes to something that I had never been aware of before: that the realm of science and that of faith are not only not incompatible, but they are one and the same. And in one way or another, that has been one of the bigger revelations that has dominated and guided my life in the long years since.

I never got to meet Madeleine L'Engle, but I do know some people who were fortunate enough to not only meet but talk with her at length. One of my friends said that she was "amazing". Another said that she had "grace and a powerful light behind her eyes".

And now she is gone from us.

But in her own way, maybe more than she ever knew, Madeleine L'Engle became just as legendary a warrior against the darkness as those who were mentioned in A Wrinkle In Time.

Mrs. L'Engle, thank you for everything that you gave us. And we hope that you are enjoying the thrill, at long last, of a real tesseract.