A dear friend of my soul – unknowingly, through a quote on a web page – introduced me to Frederick Buechner’s writings a couple of years ago. Between them, my friend, by way of direct (sometimes very direct) conversation, and Mr. Buechner, by way of his books, have done much to help me come to a place of recognizing and admitting and beginning to come to terms with many difficult issues in my life. But that’s mostly a story for another time and place.
Today’s story of synchronicity begins in my temporarily quiet kitchen/office, in the precious hour before anyone else is up in the house. So far, the morning has included posting my two cents’ worth in response to a facebook question about favorite George MacDonald works (The Curate’s Awakening has several mentions), beginning to give some thought to preparation for Saturday’s book club discussion of C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, and finishing Buechner’s Telling Secrets.
The closing chapter of Telling Secrets incorporates a paragraph-long quotation from Thomas Wingfold, Curate – the earlier title of The Curate’s Awakening – part of which reads: “Even if there be no hereafter, I would live my time believing in a grand thing that ought to be true if it is not…Let me hold by the better than the actual…I would rather die forevermore believing as Jesus believed, than live forevermore believing as those that deny him.” Some 75+ years after the publication of Thomas Wingfold, Puddleglum, the gloomy, heroic Marshwiggle of The Silver Chair, echoes the sentiment in these words: “Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself…in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones…I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”