Seems I’m just catching up with famous authors who influenced people like CS Lewis and R. J Tolkien. I think the literary side of my brain took longer to develop. So here at 90 I’m discovering a new author–George Macdonald (don’t be shocked. I should have majored in English Lit at Wheaton College!) I’ve never read his famous fantasy novel, Phantastes, which opened new doors for Lewis and influenced his return to Christianity. But on my way to 91, I’ll put it on my Kindle to find out what impressed Lewis so.
I recently found a little book of Macdonald’s at my son’s home–Diary of an Old Soul. I certainly identified with the “old soul” part this morning as I moved deck furniture around and off—ready for a much-needed “power-washing. I don’t identify with all of the 366 sonnets Macdonald wrote — but here’s one I heavily underlined:
Two things at once, thou know’st I cannot think.
When busy with the work thou givest me,
I cannot consciously think then of thee.
Then why, when next thou lookest o’er the brink
Of my horizon, should my spirit shrink,
Reproached and fearful, nor to greet thee run?
Can I be two when I am only one?
My problem exactly. Working at my desk, fashioning sentences, hunting for words, I am not consciously thinking of God’s direction. But even as He controls the universe, answers billions of prayers at once, sends His angels to protect and comfort His children, He remembers me. A thought too big to understand.
What a comfort to know that during the months– yes, years–I researched,wrote and rewrote Daughters of Deliverance, and The Queen’s Daughters, I felt God’s guidance and presence and encouragement when I was too discouraged to go on. If you’ve read my books about Katharine Bushnell, perhaps you saw godly insights or the development of Kate’s character that reflected a touch of God– that for a moment said “yes” to Macdonald’s question. “Can I be two when I am only one?”