Today was a slow, rainy day in Akron, providing the perfect opportunity to finish my current read: Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle. I honestly shed a tear while doing so. I feel like I just lived a lifetime alongside Ms. L’Engle. While primarily focusing on her 40-yr marriage to her husband, Hugh, the book is an honest, humorous, and humble journey addressing womanhood, writing, parenting, ageing, suffering, the mysteries of life and death – all testimonies of God’s grace. A new side to her for those more familiar with her fiction like I was. This book crossed my path at the perfect time & now I want it to cross yours!
The name “The Next Three Feet” was taken from a C.S. Lewis quote about taking the next seen step on life’s path (explained further here). I realized though that paths are there because someone (or rather, Someone) has gone before us. Furthermore, I’ve been pondering how while He leads, one of the means He uses to light the path for us to step into those next three feet is saints of old lining the way, faithfully spurring us along the path they’ve already walked. I can just see C.S. Lewis, Elisabeth Elliot, the Vanaukens (of A Severe Mercy fame – another highly recommended autobio of a marriage), Charles Spurgeon, among others lining my path, holding lanterns of wisdom & truth. And now, I would have to add Madeleine L’Engle among them.
The light she shared for me is light I will come back to and need on various points in my path. Here’s one example:
Inevitably there have been times when one of us has outrun the other and has had to wait patiently for the other to catch up… The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys. I suspect that in every good marriage there are times that loves seems over. Sometimes these desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing than it could possibly have been without it.
Ladies, give this one a read – maybe it will be some light to you too.
And… because I need something new to read now, who are some of the saints lining your path?