In class the other day we watched a film on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. The film itself was not great, and it was done pretty cheesily… but the story of Francis’ life was actually pretty resounding.
Now, I don’t want to get all preachy or mushy, but this is me just being honest.
I knew a good deal about Francis’ life before we watched the movie. I knew that he worked with the Lepers and that he started a great following, and then ended going off on his own again after that. I knew he lived a somewhat segregated life from “normal society”. I also knew about Mother Teresa’s life, and so this idea of modern day saints spending time with the Lepers was not new. It didn’t seem quite as revolutionary as when Jesus did it 2,000 years ago. However, I did not realize that Francis contracted the disease. When it said that in the film, it was like a slap in the face. Again, single tears just rolled from my eyes without my permission. Suddenly I was lost in my own mind, having a DTR (“defining the relationship” for those not in college or from the states) with God.
Here’s an excerpt from my journal that I wrote right after class which shows mine and God’s chat about this:
I think too often, when I think of trusting you… I think of tales of time when your servants trusted you and you “came through for them”, so to speak. Stories like that of Daniel in the lion’s den, of the three who were thrown into the furnace but were kept alive, of David fighting Goliath. I never realized that this is how I thought of trusting you successfully until today when we watched the film. Francis trusted you, followed your calling, loved the untouchables… yet you did not ‘protect’ him as I think of “protection”. He contracted leprosy when he touched them. This slapped me in the face. Not only are we supposed to trust you, knowing you are able to protect us if you choose to, but we are supposed to trust you knowing that you may choose not to protect us. I suppose I’d rather think of Daniel being delivered from the lions when I think of a story of trust rather than Christ trusting you, and being flogged nearly to death, and then being hung brutally on splinter-clad logs. It’s much easier to trust you when I think it means protection. But you don’t promise that.
Father, again, I catch a sense of destiny. I’d like to have a family, to have a house, to grow old with my husband. But I realize strongly that that may not be the plans you have for me. I don’t know what your future holds for me, but that’s just it… it’s your future for me… not my future for you. I am yours. Abba Father, I belong to you. Everything I am is from you, and everything I do is through you. Above all else, I just want you.
I know… mushy/preachy, right? but true. I have come to terms with the fact that I have no idea what God’s going to do with me in the future… and even though it’s exciting to me that God’s in charge of my life, and that he can use me in really cool ways… it still gives me little pangs of reality in my heart, knowing that really… he may take me anywhere… and with that path he doesn’t promise that I’ll even live through it. But i suppose maybe that’s the point… none of us make it out of this journey alive. I figure I might as well allow God to make the path worthwhile then, and get to hang out with Him along the way.
Anyway… this is just some stuff I’ve been thinking about…