You know why I like birthdays? I like celebrating the idea that one day people I loved were not on this earth, but then the next day they were. That is the best part about birthdays. My favorite birthday sentiment, and I say it often but out of sincerity and not routine, is “celebrating your life today and always.”
Today is a “today and always” celebration of the life Madeleine L’Engle lived, and the influence she’s had on me.
Here is the strange part about encountering great people. Great people are people you want to be more like, but the greatest people don’t want you to become more like them. They just want you to be yourself. So for as often as I think or say that I would like to be just like Madeleine L’Engle, I cannot in good faith say that I consider myself to be mentored by Madeleine and in the same thought that I want to be just like her. The two don’t sit well in my soul.
Instead I will say that I want to be more of myself, but continue to be a Stephanie that is greatly influenced and shaped by the life and writings of Madeleine L’Engle.
You know those days when you don’t have the strength to pray or look to Jesus, when your back is turned and you have no intention of swallowing your pride and allowing for reconciliation? Those are the days and the moments when Madeleine has meant the most to me. Her writing has often been a kick in the behind to humbly turn to God and seek his companionship at once.
I could write for a long time about Madeleine, her life, her love, her writing; could tell you stories about the first time I heard her voice or held a book she had signed; how reading her book is like planting a garden in my soul where flowers spring up at the least expected moment. But if you search my blog for “Madeleine L’Engle” you will find that I do that often enough as it is.
This is all I want to say: Happy birthday, Madeleine. Celebrating your life today and always.