Today will be a “quieter” day than I figured it would be. Jeannie found the notice of Brennan’s death (yesterday), and as soon as she told me, I felt an emptiness in my heart—the way I feel when someone has come for a visit, but has just left. After waving good-bye the walk back into the house is different.
I call Brennan “an old friend” the same way millions of others do–someone who walked with me without ever really knowing it. I only spent three days in his presence, joining with about 20 others at Aqueduct Retreat Center in North Carolina in 2001, where Brennan shared with us from his book, Ruthless Trust.
But about ten feet from where I am writing this I have all his books in a box, so I can get to them ina moment’s notice. Add to that a few audio tapes, and you have my “Brennan Manning Collection” that guided me as much as any other single Christian has done.
I was drawn to him, as most have been, by his honesty. For nearly 50 years I have told folks that “spirituality is reality.” Brennan confirmed that over and over again, including through times that were indescribably painful and disappointing.
His final book summed it up: All is Grace. And it was…and is. All based, As Brennan put it, on “God’s furious love”—a love Brennan now enters into fully.
Thanks for a good visit, Brennan, in the home of my heart. I am going to miss you. I am going to stand here waving until your car is only a small dot on the horizon of my soul.