Maurice Sendak, children's writer, has died. This extraordinary man, with his difficult life. has left a legacy of extraordinary, and often disturbing children's books, best known among them, Where the Wild things Are. I've read the book many dozen times, as a boy, and then in turn to each of my five children. my thoughts on the book are here.
Sendak was always isolated, always an outsider. Other people's lives simply appeared too neat for him. His world was full of uncertainty, and nasty surprises. His books were the outworking of his desire to show the shocking troubles he lived with. He gave no evidence of Christian faith, and I wonder what he made of the church. Would he have thought that it was all too domesticated, too removed from life as he experienced it? Sendak leaves a challenge to those of us with a Christian faith; does our faith persevere with the often nastiness of life, in our lives and in others'? Does our message appear just too 'neat', even as we treasure the solid comforts of the Gospel? Or can we live with broken-heartedness, and welcome the disturbed with genuine compassion and patience in our churches, to learn Gospel hope with us?