A Short Story about Francis

The guy from Assisi, not the new pope (though I’ve read a few fine stories about the latter).

Francis came from a wealthy family, but had a conversion experience in which he turned his back on that life. He literally left everything behind including his clothes and walked out of his town naked. Later on while he was praying (clothed by this time), Francis heard God tell him, “Repair my church as it is falling into ruin.”

Like many of us do with things involving God, Francis took this literally. So he began to repair a church in the countryside. Eventually he was joined by others, men and women, that wanted to live a life pleasing to God. They wanted to go back to the basics of the gospel. These little brothers and sisters started a movement that shook up the establishment.

Yet their forsaking of the things of this world, their humility, and their love for God and their fellow human (especially the down and out of society) sparked something dramatic. Though they were imperfect men and women, through the grace of God, they helped repair the Church in that day.

That is a highly simplified version of the story, but it is a beautiful story. And it is one that Christians—whether Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox—can always learn from. After all, there are always holes in the Church that can be patched over with humility and love like Francis demonstrated so long ago.

Sunday Shema

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