"This morning a splendid dawn passed over our house on its way to Kansas. This morning Kansas rolled out of its sleep into a sunlight grandly announced, proclaimed throughout heaven, one more of the very finite number of days that this old prairie has been called Kansas, or Iowa. But it has all been one day, that first day. Light is constant, we just turn over in it. So every day is in fact the selfsame evening and morning. My grandfather's grave turned into the light, and the dew on his weedy little mortality patch was glorious.
'Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond.'
While I'm thinking of it--when you are an old man like I am, you might think of writing some sort of account of yourself, as I am doing. In my experience of it, age has a tendency to make one's sense of oneself harder to maintain, less robust in some ways.
Why do I love the thought of you old? That first twinge of arthritis in your knee is a thing I imagine with all the tenderness I felt when you showed me your loose tooth. Be diligent in your prayers, old man. I hope you will have seen more of the world than I ever got around to seeing--only myself to blame. And I hope you will have read some of my books. And God bless your eyes, and your hearing also, and of course your heart. I wish I could help you carrry the weight of many years. But the Lord will have that fatherly satisfaction."
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 209-210
"Two or three of the ladies had pronounced views on points of doctrine, particularly sin and damnation, which they never learned from me. I blame the radio for sowing a good deal of confusion where theology is concerned. And television is worse. You can spend forty years teaching people to be awake to the fact of mystery and then some fellow with no more theological sense than a jackrabbit gets himself a radio ministry and all your work is forgotten. I do wonder where it will end."
--Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 208
I find it impossible to read this passage without thinking of certain notable blogs in presbyterian and reformed circles.
"I fell to thinking about the passage in the Institutes where it says the image of the Lord in anyone is much more than reason enough to love him, and that the Lord stands wating to take our enemies' sins upon Himself. So it is a rejection of the reality of grace to hold our eneemy at fault. Those things can only be true. It seems to me people tend to forget that we are to love our enemies, not to satisfy some standare of righteousness, but because God their Father loves them. I have probably preached on that a hundred times."
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 189
"I don't know exactly what covetise is, but in my experience it is not so much desiring someone else's virtue or happiness as rejecting it, taking offense at the beauty of it."
--Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, 188