We Are Never Alone. Not When the Night Is Darkest, the Wind Coldest

Taylor Caldwell? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Taylor Caldwell wrote several best-selling books. Two of her novels were made into popular television mini-series: “Testimony of Two Men” and “Captains and the Kings”. I found a quotation attributed to her that fits with this holiday season:

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.

I do not know where this quote appeared, and when I checked Wikiquote the expression was not listed on the main page for Taylor Caldwell; instead, the words were in the “Unsourced” section. Do you think Caldwell wrote these words?

Quote Investigator: The quotation above was included in a short autobiographical tale by Taylor Caldwell that was published in “Family Circle” magazine on December 24, 1961. The story has been reprinted multiple times. In the tale Caldwell described a Christmas season during which she was divorced, jobless, and nearly moneyless. She despaired as she anticipated being forced to vacate her apartment together with her 5-year-old child.

But she succeeded in paying her rent and obtaining a new job. Part of her accomplishment and joy hinged on the positive consequences of a good deed she had performed six months earlier. In conclusion, the quote is accurate, and it appeared at the end of the story. 1

(Thanks to A. for this request.)

Notes:

  1. 1996, Christmas in My Heart, Compiled and edited by Joe Wheeler, “My Christmas Miracle” by Taylor Caldwell, Start Page 209, Quote Page 214, (A note accompanying the acknowledgement of the reprint states that the story appeared in Family Circle on December 24, 1961; Family Circle has not been directly examined), Published by Guideposts, Carmel, New, York. (Verified with scans)