Alive in Love – Brennan Manning

I’m digging through boxes, searching for books to keep and books to give away. Each new box is like a treasure trove of discovery. Every book I own has meaning and depth to it. Having played some small part in who I am today, each book has it’s own season in my life.  Maybe that’s why I want so desperately to be an author. I want to pay it forward in any way I can. God and I are still working out the how in that desire.  For now he has planted me at a Mission Start and I love it.

While digging I found a book that I had purchased but never read. Being a bibliophile that is not unusual for me.  Being Summer, I thought this was the perfect time to open this gift and so I am reading The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning.

I love it when I ask God to speak to me and he surprizes me with these little things. It’s a simple book really with a haunting question – Is the Gospel Alive and Real to you right now?

Although this book is full of great insight and many quotes to choose from, this one jumps out. Brennan had very rudely dismissed someone one while trying to impress others – she responded with saying “Jesus never would have talked to Mary Magdaline like that.” and then she was gone.

I love his honesty – I love when he askes this question –

How could she believe in the love of a God she can’t see when she couldn’t find even a trace of love in the eyes of a brother wearing a clerical collar whom she could see?

… and they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.. or not.

That is a great question for me to ponder today. I can be harsh with pastors – I don’t trust them. My pastor knows that, and we do okay. Actually, we do better than okay, mainly because I already know that I am loved, not just by him, but by God himself.

That wasn’t always the case. There was a day when I would search the eyes for approval. I don’t have to do that today. God is an amazing healer. Just ask anyone who remembers the day when I had to sit on my hands in church so that no one could see how badly they shook. And to make matters worse, my voice shook for years as badly as my hands.

I’m putting that out there, not as a victim, but rather as a woman aware of my scars. And as a woman who wants to heal and overcome.

And my question when faced with Brennan’s truth isn’t, “What do I see?”, but rather ” What do people see when they look into my eyes? ”

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