Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
I look at Brennan Manning and see and man I want to be like and a man I want to pretend I never saw. He cannot see well enough to sit down unaided. His frail shoulders threaten to snap if the church air conditioning fan is turned up. His jeans would style a clash between a hip-hop teenager and a hippie rather than a seventy-five year old man. He pauses awkwardly in the middle of sentences, sometimes changing the subject in the process. And yet, his words turn to gold to an audience waiting like hungry babies. Passion colors his face, a passion redefined by the fact that he has lived the journey through with belief and heart intact and will die soon. He still believes enough to raise his voice in excitement to an audience he has no reason to manipulate and cannot base his self-worth on because he cannot see their facial response. People listen because this man has led with his brokenness, his courage and trust that his failures and exposed flesh have power to bless. And so, in some way, he is the essence of his opening statement, that it is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy.