. . . now that I am about to leave this world, I realize there is nothing more astonishing than a human face. [My friend] Boughton and I have talked about that, too. It has something to do with incarnation. You feel your obligation to a child when you have seen it and held it. Any human face is a claim on you, because you can’t help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it, but this is truest in the face of an infant. I consider that to be one kind of vision, as mystical as any. Boughton agrees.
–Marilynne Robinson, from Gilead