Recently I have been reading the late Brennan Manning’s autobiography All is Grace. His words MOVE me and there is something about his writing that has me in tears every time I pick up one of his books. At the beginning of his memoir he writes a poem and I just want to write it out for you here even though it is a bit lengthy because it is SO good:
“This book is by the one who thought he’d be farther along by now, but he’s not. It is by the inmate who promised the parole board he’d be good, but he wasn’t. It is by the dim-eyed who showed the path to others but kept losing his way. It is by the wet-brained who believed if a little wine is good for the stomach then a lot is great. It is by the liar, tramp, and thief; otherwise known as the priest, speaker, and author. It is by the disciple whose cheese slid off his cracker so many times he said ‘to hell with cheese ‘n’ crackers.’ It is by the young at heart but old of bone who led these days in a way he’d rather not go.”
Manning was SO AWARE of his humanity and I find his honesty breathtaking. Because here’s the thing: some days I feel so crushed by the weight of my own humanity. Some days I feel as if I my failures will never let go of me. And Manning understood that. I cry when I read his books because I see so much of myself in his writing. But, here is where he teaches me so much: while Manning understood his humanity so deeply, he also understood God’s grace. He goes on:
“But, this book is also for the gentle ones who’ve lived among wolves. It is for those who’ve broken free of collar to romp in fields of love and marriage and divorce. It is for those who mourn, who’ve been mourning most of their lives, yet they hang on to shall be comforted. It is for those who’ve dreamed of entertaining angels, but found instead a few friends of great price. It is for the younger and elder prodigals who’ve come to their senses again, and again, and again, and again. It is for those who strain at pious piffle because they’ve been swallowed by Mercy itself. This book is for myself and those who have been around the block enough times that we dare to whisper the ragamuffin’s rumor – all is grace.”
While I am so aware of my humanity, I struggle to claim Manning’s mantra: “all is grace.” I’ve never known someone to cling to that promise more than he did. I can only hope that as I walk through this life that Grace will become even more real to me than it is now. I can only hope that my understanding of how much I need Grace will overshadow the crushing weight of my own humanity.
Has anyone else read Manning’s books? Have they moved you as much as they do me? Are there any other books that do this for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
P.S. my friend Jackie Sommers just let me know that Amazon is offering the Kindle version of his autobiography for free, so make sure to check it out! Also, check out Jackie’s page because she just wrote a book called Truest and it is FABULOUS!
*Pictures taken by Olivia Holloway
Shop this Post:
Disclaimer: Most of my clothing is thrifted/consigned. When I show you one of these thrifted pieces, I try to find items that are as similar as possible in a variety of price ranges.
Also, Truncation contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link or purchase an item from a link, I may make a commission. Thank you for supporting Truncation!