"That's a pretty heavy burden, Vicky."
"Do you think I'm strong enough to carry it?"
"I think we're given strength enough for what we have to carry. What I question is whether or not this burden is meant for you."
"He needs me, Grandfather."
"You, Vicky Austin, specifically?"
"Well- yes. I think so." I did not like the way Grandfather's eyes were stern as they looked at me.
He said. "There's a sermon of John Donne's I have often had cause to remember during my lifetime. He says, Other men's crosses are not my crosses. We all have our own cross to carry, and one is all most of us are able to bear. How much do you owe him, Vicky?"
I replied slowly. "I don't think of it in terms of owing, like paying a debt. The thing is- he needs me."
Grandfather looked away from me and out to the sea, and when he spoke, it was as though he spoke to himself. "The obligations of normal human kindness- chesed, as the Hebrew has it- that we all owe. But there's a kind of vanity in thinking you can nurse the world. There's a kind of vanity in goodness."
I could hardly believe my ears. "But aren't we supposed to be good?"
"I'm not sure." Grandfather's voice was heavy. "I do know that we're not good, and there's a lot of truth to the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
~A Ring of Endless Light, page 61