As a youngster, I didn't like to read. At times, I would find some book I thought I would like, but I virtually never made it through any books that weren't full of pictures of my sports heroes. That changed, and it altered the direction of the rest of my life, when I read Brennan Manning's The Signature of Jesus. I was at a point in my life when I was beginning to become tired of living superficially, and I needed guidance on how to connect with God in genuine ways. Going through the pages of that book was a new experience for me, in which I discovered how effective good books can be at pointing me forward in the kind of life I want to live with God.
I have read (and sometimes re-read) probably a dozen others of his books in the years since. He was as effective as anyone at communicating the grace of God and how wondrous of a thing it is that God so endlessly loves people who are so thoroughly messed up. (It can be difficult to find, but his short parable, The Boy Who Cried Abba is worth abundantly more than the cost of the book and the time it takes to read it.)
Brennan's honest words were deeply needed. He knew both the darkness of sin and the incomparability of God's grace. I'm grateful for his life and for his courage to share words which have drawn me and so many others further into "the relentless love of Jesus."