Gilbert Keith Chesterton

(Today, May 29th, marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of G.K. Chesterton in 1936, and here is an endearing excerpt from his biographer, Maisie Ward):

It may be remembered that Miss Dunham noted how Gilbert used to make a mysterious sign in the air as he lit his cigar. That sign, says Dorothy (Collins, his secretary), was the Sign of the Cross. Long ago he had written of human life as something not grey and drab but shot through with strong and even violent colours that took the pattern of the Cross. He saw the Cross signed by God on the trees as their branches spread to right and left: he saw it signed by man as he shaped a paling or a door post. The habit grew upon him of making it constantly: in the air with his match, as he lit his cigar, over a cup of coffee. As he entered a room he would make on the door the sign of our Redemption. No, we must never pity him even when his life was pressed upon by that sign which stands for joy through pain.