The following is an excerpt from “Pyramids in the Desert,” a commencement address given by Madeleine L’Engle on April 22, 1999, in the Marriott Center.
A few years ago in Egypt, flying from Cairo to Luxor, I noticed that in the desert below lay many stone pyramids. They were smaller than the great man-made ones we’d seen the day before, but they were the same triangular, mathematical shape. When I pointed this out to our guide, she smiled, nodded, and told us that this was the shape that survives the wind and the weather and the desert storms. . . . Certainly the natural stone pyramids looked the same to me as they had to my parents and to their parents and to their parents before them. . . .
Most of you know that your education is far from over. In many ways you are beginning. And one of the most important things I hope you have learned is to tell which are the natural stone pyramids that never change and which are the ones made by human beings that ultimately will crumble and decay.
When Jesus was in Egypt, He saw much of the same landscape you can see today. If you could listen to Him now, you would hear much that you can read in the Bible. Many things have changed, particularly in the world of science and medicine, but many things–particularly of the Spirit–have not. And part of the purpose of your education has been to teach you the difference.