tuesdays with brennan…

In just a few days the manuscript for Brennan Manning’s memoir – All Is Grace – will be sent to the printer. In some sense its been out of my hands for almost three months now, copyedited, proofed. It is about to be fully beyond me, printed, bound, boxed, shipped, ready for distribution. The fire is almost out, now begins the hallowed time.

I had coffee yesterday with a lady who’d been asked to read and hopefully endorse the book. She did and has. I relished the time because it was the first opportunity I’ve had to engage with someone who’d read it without publishing eyes. I won’t share her thoughts as they are her own to express if, when, and how she chooses. But our conversation stirred the desire to articulate a few more feelings in the wake of my Tuesdays with Brennan.

Someone who saw the book’s video trailer said ‘Brennan looks bent.’ That’d be about right, although the writer in me would insist ‘he’s gnarled and twisted from his battle with grace.’ Do you remember that dog you had as a child who always got out? He’d either dig underneath the fence, jump the chainlink, squeeze through some microscopic synapse in the wire, or just crash the gate doing 98 barking ‘let them truckers roll, 10-4.’ Yes, that dog, the one that drove your parents crazy, not to mention the neighbors who endured relentless trashcan tipping/strewing, and the poodles three doors down who stalwartly refused his scruffy advances. Yes, that dog who would eventually trot back home smelling of leftovers and lust, possibly with porcupine quills in his snout or half an ear missing due to turf wars…but by God you loved that dog, stapled MISSING posters to telephone poles when he stayed gone too long, and faithfully pleaded on his behalf before the judge/jury of your father or mother. And by God that dog loved you, would bare his teeth when older ninnies threatened you with fists, and sat at attention by the foot of your twin bed when you had scarlet fever and almost died. You knew from the beginning that dog was not an AKC pureblood but rather some mutted creation of passion mingled with fidelity, a mixed-breed survivor that always bet on crumbs falling from the master’s table…in a word – mercy.

Brennan Manning is not a dog. He is a man. By God I love that man. He has become a favorite, my quicksilver extracurricular relative in whom the blood of grace always hums. And by God I believe Jesus loves him too, fiercely, always has, forever will. If you insist on a pedigreed faith, you’re not going to like All Is Grace. Trust me, it doesn’t behave. But if you’re like some of the rest of us, we of a mixed-breed eloquence who’ve a tendency to jump fences and flirt but will also stick closer than a brother…those of us known in the neighborhood as rascals, tramps, and repeat prodigals, then by God this book is something to take and eat, a testament to the only chance any of us have, be we man or beast…in a word – mercy.

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  1. thyrkas on July 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    “Oh how He loves you and me”. Remember that song? Your blog brought that refrain out of the dusty, flannel graphed, KJV strewn rooms of the past and placed the truth of those words in a digital banner in my brain. That merciful, melodious thought was true then, it is true today. “As it is now, and ever shall be. Amen” The strings of my heart are still thrumming – thx!

    • thebeautifuldue on July 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      Thyrkas, I know the song well…thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Rich on July 9, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Reading your words is often like hearing “That Old Familiar Song.”

  3. Sharon Hersh on July 11, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks for being brave enough to write the true story – the kind of true-life story that would fit well in the stories of David and Rahab and Zacheus and Mary Magdalene.

  4. Mair on August 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I got chills reading this! Can’t wait to read the book. It’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it, friend?

    • thebeautifuldue on August 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Long time indeed, Mair…great to hear from you!

  5. jewelz57 on August 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Now I really can’t wait to read that book! I am SO weary of a pedigreed faith… been walking away from it for several years now… more and more realizing what Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished”….

    Love the way you put things down in words….. truly gifted!

    • thebeautifuldue on August 5, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Thanks, Julie…and yes, ‘it is finished’ means so much more than we realize…

  6. Meet a Dad: John Blase - Dadequate on August 26, 2011 at 11:27 am

    […] Meet a Dad profile is John Blase, a writer and editor in Colorado. Most recently he has been collaborating with Brennan Manning on Manning’s upcoming memoir, Ragamuffin Grace — which I can’t wait to […]

  7. Rev Dr GB on September 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Can you please direct me to a site that shares an update on Fr Manning’s recent fall…I have read and distributed his books for years…And I’m asking about his health, nothing more. pax. Brent+

  8. mary kathryn tyson on July 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Just reading this from my car before heading out on a run. Still haven’t read All is Grace. (Is it okay for me to tell you this? Eek.) Just haven’t been able to yet. I know it will be a healing and a hallelujah at just the right time, probably when I’m not even paying attention. Thank you for helping him tell his story of all us, with such dignity I am sure. xo

  9. Roslyn Bourgeois on December 25, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I’ve missed your ” beautiful due”
    writings. Today I moved around your site and came across this one from Tuesdays with Brennan. You hit the nail on the head. It gave to me an even greater understanding of ALL IS GRACE. At least an understanding with words. Via my own experiences of Gods grace, I knew but would never have the words to express it. That, dear John, is a gift given to you by the Almighty. Thank you for saying YES to it

  10. Lindsey Meyer on February 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Hi John,

    I came across video a while ago that was a full interview with Brennan at the end of his life. I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I am leading a Bible study for young moms in my neighborhood and we are reading “The Ragamuffin Gospel”. I wanted to show them the full video. I remember it being so meaningful – it was in his home in NOLA.

    Any idea how I could have the link?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    • John Blase on February 22, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      Hi, Lindsey. Wow, let me think a minute and get back to you. Some “Brennan” videos seem to disappear from the web at times, I never know why. I’ll try to help. ~ John

      • John Blase on March 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

        Lindsey, I can’t seem to find it either, which is strange. I’m very sorry, wish I could help. ~ John

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