He was a champion for Ragamuffins everywhere. When I heard he died yesterday I was saddened because of the words of grace he will no longer write, but I was happy knowing he was with Jesus. Brennan Manning’s book Ragamuffin Gospel went through my parents house and then mine and then everyone we knew, we bought extra copies and passed them like batons at relay races.
Brennan Manning was like a quiet megaphone that spoke softly and yet loudly into our hearts something that we tend to forget. That we are dearly loved by God, and there is nothing we have to do to earn it. Like Sally Field’s memorable Oscar speech of 1985 in which she emphatically claimed, “You really, really like me,” Brennan Manning had a mission, and that was to spread the word that not only does God like us, He really really loves us.
He opened us up to the possibility that there was nothing we had to do to earn God’s love. That’s what spoke to my heart.
He hung out with dignitaries as well as twelve-steppers, and his book made me cry more than once.
And he also challenged me in my walk:
In the final analysis, the real challenge of Christian growth is the challenge of personal responsibility. The Spirit of Jesus call out a second time: Are you going to take charge of your life today? Are you going to be responsible for what you do? Are you going to believe?
His words were a balm for my soul and I won’t forget him.
Even today, I grabbed my copy of Ragamuffin Gospel and threw it in my bag. I may never get the time to open it, but I know it’s there and it makes me feel good.
Enjoy the first day of the rest of your life, Brennan Manning, and we will join you after a time.
Then we will all be Ragamuffins Redeemed, sitting at the feet of Jesus with you. Until then, we will re-read your books and strive to live and walk in the footsteps of Jesus until such time as we begin our own forever with Him.