LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Monday, September 10, 2007

Madeleine L’Engle: Heaven’s Gain

In case you haven’t yet heard the news, Madeleine L’Engle died on Thursday in Connecticut. She was 88 years old. L’Engle is probably best known for A Wrinkle in Time, which won the Newbery Medal as best children’s book of 1963 and is still going strong. Although I’ve read and enjoyed many of her novels, my favorite book of hers is Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, a work that inspires me every time I pick it up. When I think about her life, I feel both sad and glad about her passing: sad for us, glad for her. As a good friend of mine said on Friday, our loss is heaven’s gain.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from L’Engle.

“What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint or clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter what our vocation or how we earn our living.” Walking on Water, pps. 89-90.

“Too much concern about Christian art can be destructive both to art and to Christianity. I cannot consciously try to write a Christian story. My own life and my own faith will determine whether or not my stories are Christian. Too much Christian art relies so heavily on being Christian that the artist forgets that it also must be good art.

"When we write a story, we must write to the absolute best of our ability. That is the job, first and foremost. If we are truly Christian, that will be evident, no matter what the topic. If we are not truly Christian, that will also be evident, no matter how pious the tale.” The Rock That is Higher, pp. 199-200.

And here’s the obituary in the NY Times:


On Thursday I’m featuring Paxson Jeancake, a worship arts director who conceived of and organized an art exhibit at his church based on the Ascension. The results were fascinating. You won’t want to miss this.

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