I realize I’m cross-posting with Facebook here, which seems a little off, but this is such a wonderful quote that it needs to be preserved here. It’s from Gilead, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Marilynne Robinson. The book is a letter written by an aging/dying pastor to his young son. It is a sort of reflection on his life? for the future benefit of his son.
…six months later I baptized her. And I felt like asking her, ‘What have I done? What does it mean?’ That was a question that came to me often, not because I felt less certain I had done something that did mean something, but because no matter how much I thought and read and prayed, I felt outside the mystery of it.
Ah, mystery. Western Christians tend to not like it. We like everything explained in detail. Yet it often seems like we’re trying to paint a picture of something we have experienced and witnessed but not actually seen, if you know what I mean, and so these explanations can never be more than a blurred “impressionist” depiction.
Anyway, Gilead has been wonderful so far. It has that “Pulitzer Tone,” to use a term I just made up a second ago, kind of like The Shipping News or Buechner’s Godric (which was nominated) or Alistair MacLeod’s short stories (which were not nominated, but probably should have been).