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A Ragamuffin Goes Home

April 14, 2013

Grace is something I’ve always struggled with; receiving it, giving it, believing it.

God loves me just the way I am? Seriously? I’m okay as I am? God wants me??

It’s an ongoing thing and I need frequent reminders, but the first time I really took a step in this direction was during my time in therapy. My therapist had me read The Ragamuffin Gospel. It’s close to six years now, since I read it, but it turned my life upside-down.

For the first time I felt like I didn’t have to try so hard at being a Christian, at being a human. I remember being struck at Brennan Manning’s candor and not just honesty, but transparency. The way he discusses his fight with alcoholism, with his own faith, and the terms of absolute tenderness he uses when speaking of God’s affections for us.

From there I went on to read a few more of his works, most notably Ruthless Trust. For me it was kind of like a sequel to Ragamuffin. Again, it’s been the better part of six years since I read it so I have a hard time recalling specifics, but I remember the profound impact it had on my spirituality. I would recommend Manning’s books to anyone with a pulse, but there was really only one of my friends who was at all receptive.

In a culture where people of results and achievements are championed, Manning provides a still, small voice of relief and most importantly, truth. That voice is solely preserved in his writings for on Friday, April 12, 2013, he passed from this world to that of Our Heavenly Father.

Dear Lord, thank You for allowing Brennan his time on earth and for the love You worked through him. Thank You for having him pass on the stories of his experiences and his studies and meditations; thank You for his heart for the lost and hurting. Thank You, God.

Brennan’s obituary is posted on his website:


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