Every page, every line of this book is a treasure. Here are a few precious jewels that I hope will encourage you to dig for Manning's treasures yourself.
- We can no more catch a hurricane in a shrimp net or Niagra Falls in a coffee cup than we can grasp the infinity of God's reality.
- Such a friend allows me to be myself, thoughtful one moment and silly the next. Between us, trust grows. If a word of fraternal correction is needed, the friend offers it directly, but the pained expression on his face tells me how difficult the reproof is for him. And yet he has the courage to tell me something unpleasant but necessary--something that others should tell me but do not. (They renege for fear that I will not like them anymore. Their emotional equilibrium is more important to them than my spiritual growth). With each interaction, trust of my friend grows deeper.
- I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone.
- The great weakness in the North American church at large, and certainly in my life, is our refusal to accept our brokenness. We hide it, evade it, gloss over it. We grab for the cosmetic kit and put on our virtuous face to make ourselves admirable to the public. Thus, we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy, and lacquered with a sense of self-deprecating humor that passes for humility. The irony is that while I do not want anyone to know that I am judgmental, lazy, vulnerable, screwed up, and afraid, for fear of losing face, the face that I fear losing is the mask of the impostor, not my own!