Brennan Manning passed away yesterday.
As usual, the closer something is to my heart, the harder it is for me to articulate my emotion.
Brennan Manning, whom I have met only once, smoking a cigarette in the courtyard of my home church almost twenty years ago, is among the most significant influences of my spiritual life. I remember clearly finishing The Ragamuffin Gospel as a sophomore in college, and saying to myself, what if this is really true? What if I am as free, and as loved, as Brennan Manning says I am?
His words have shaped both my understanding of God and my response to Him. In the moments when I have been most uncertain of myself, or God, or how to proceed forward, I have returned to Brennan Manning's books over and over again.
And last year, as Brian and I held on to the truth that God loves us as one clawing at the edge of a cliff, the only conceivable name for the baby brought into our lives at that time was Brennan. It was a declaration, a reminder, a plea. May our little Brennan always know he is as free, and as loved, as Manning's books assure us we are.