Things that make us hang our head

Marilynne Robinson can be just so melancholically beautiful. Here’s another couple of sentences from Lila I have flagged:

She saw him standing in the parlour with his beautiful old head bowed down on his beautiful old chest. She thought, He sure better be praying. And then she thought, Praying looks just like grief. Like shame. Like regret.


  • Oh, you definitely should!

    Yes, I'd start with Gilead. Gilead, Home and Lila are all about the same circle of people, written in that order. Gilead might take a while to get into, but once you do, it's about the most beautiful book you'll ever read (not because it's trite and fluffy, but because it's full of grace). Here's a little piece from near the end that I blogged back in 2009, to whet your appetite:

    "As I have told you, I myself was the good son, so to speak, the one who never left his father’s house – even when his father did, a fact which surely puts my credentials beyond all challenge. I am one of those righteous for whom the rejoicing in heaven will be comparatively restrained. And that’s all right. There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence? …

    … Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as an only child, and that has to be true. ‘He will wipe the tears from all faces.’ It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required."

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