God’s Love for Us

Brennan Manning tells a great story about a woman who was in desperate need of God’s intervention. At a silent retreat Manning hosted, the woman confided in him that she wanted to sense just one time the love of God. Manning agreed to pray for her, and he records, “The following morning this woman (whom I’ll call Winky) arose before dawn and went for a walk on the beach, which was less than fifty yards from our house. Walking along the seashore barefoot, with the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean lapping against her feet and ankles, she noticed some one hundred yards away a teenage boy and a woman fifteen yards behind walking in her direction. In less than a minute the boy had passed by to her left, but the woman made an abrupt ninety-degree turn, walked straight toward Winky, embraced her deeply, and kissed her on the cheek. She whispered, ‘I love you,’ and continued on her way. Winky had never seen the woman before. Winky wandered along the beach for another hour before returning to the house. She knocked on my door. When I opened it, she was smiling. ‘Our prayer was answered,’ she said simply” (Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out, 3rd ed. [Colorado Springs, CO: Crown Publishing Group, 2005], 94, Kindle).