For college students who are in the midst of defining their identities, Manning's exhortation often strikes a deep cord. The chapters from his book, Abba's Child, on our belovedness and our attempts to hide from God and others have been staples on CCO trips for many years. The conversations these two chapters open go to the heart of what it means to follow Jesus. The grasp of our belovedness and the power of our impostor (as Manning called our false self) are also central to the assumptions from which we build our leadership. We often assign these readings on CCO trips during a time of solitude for students to really chew on Manning's words and let the Holy Spirit bring to mind the experiences of the trip which speak to when they encountered their belovedness and their shadow self. For many these are powerful moments of reflection and learning.
For those of you who are familiar with his work, you know what a loss this is. And yet we cannot help but celebrate because Manning is now with his Abba whose love he has sought and shared with so many. For those of you who have not read any of his work, here is 45-minute video from one of his many speaking engagements: