Last year when Brennan Manning’s latest book came out, we had a little debate at the bookstore where I worked at the time. Having loved his writing forever, I immediately added All is Grace to my bookshelf and my heart. It was the final work of a man that had, more than once, saved my spiritual life. And I never take those people for granted. Never.That day at the store someone suggested Brennan Manning maybe wasn’t a Christian because he struggled with addiction and doubts the entirety of his life. They felt that maybe he never found Christ because he wasn’t ever truly free by worldly standards. They didn’t think anything negative should consume the life forever of a true follower of Christ. I refrained barely from making a comment about judgment, ahem, and said nothing.
At some point we’re not supposed to struggle? Is that even possible living in a place we don’t belong? Aren’t the faith and the growth and the victory IN the struggle? To reach a place where we are beyond stumbling and past falling would be……Heaven. Literally.
I’m not a big crier, but the first copy of his book Abba’s Child I owned ended up with tear stained highlighter running off the book and onto the floor. It was maybe the first time in my adult life I truly understood. I was not just loved by God, I was unconditionally sought after, saved, and kept by the only One able to keep every promise and forgive every sin. With Him, I belonged!
So, here’s to you Brennan Manning. May you rest in peace knowing your transparent love of the Father and honest stumbling made those of us covered with patches and held together only by grace feel like we had company on the journey. Enjoy being Home.