One week ago today, Brennan Manning, the ragamuffin whose cheese was always famously sliding off his cracker, whose slight frame always belied his weighty presence, left us. And we are worse for it, though he is far better.
Almost twenty years ago, someone gave me Abba’s Child. This book whispered and sang to me until I started to believe that God loves me…
“beyond all worthiness and unworthiness,
beyond fidelity and infidelity,
that God loves me in the morning sun and in the evening rain,
that God loves me when my intellect denies it,
when my emotion refuses it,
when my whole being rejects it.
That God loves without condition or reservation,
and God loves me this moment as I am and not as I should be.”
I’ll never stop needing to believe that in this very moment, God loves me as I am and not as I should be. I can still hear his gravelly voice echoing those words, over and over. He said them so often because, I think, he needed to hear them, too.
Brennan was the alcoholic lover of Jesus who was seized by the power of a great affection. He was ragged all the way until the end, and the God he knew was a God whose embrace was wide enough for all of us.
Here is Brennan Manning in 2:07.
Grace and peace, brother Brennan. We miss you like crazy.