Last night, I finally finished re-reading "Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi" by Donald Spoto. I am left humbled and speechless.
I hear Francis's voice over and over in my head: "Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord God -- for up until now, we have done little or nothing."
And then there is Spoto's description of the day Francis died:
Francis told his caregivers, "When you see that I have come to the end, put me out naked on the ground, and allow me to lie there for as long as it takes to walk a leisurely mile."
... His friends followed his instruction, and placed him stripped on the floor of his cell -- it was the full realization of the dramatic moment before Bishop Guido so many years earlier. Thus, as he lay dying and the afternoon began to fade, Francis's final prayer was a sublime gesture ... the action by which he expressed what he was and Whose child he was, about to be born again in eternity. In the core of his being, Francis was at last utterly dependent on God alone. His poverty was absolute: there was now nothing between him and God. After a brief time, he was clothed in his tunic again and gently lifted back on his straw bed.
His companions ... took his hands. "I have done what is mine," Francis whispered. "May Christ teach you what is yours to do."
There is something so utterly beautiful and wonderful about this scene, and how I long to be with God that completely. But I know that I have to do what is mine first.
I don't particularly like to write. It usually just feels like noise. There's already too much noise in our world, and the thought that I'm just adding to it makes my skin crawl. But God wants to me write; they want me to share what they show me. How can I say no? As Brother Francis said, “Who are You, my dearest God? And what am I but Your useless servant.”
So help me begin, Brother Francis, Brother Jesus, Sister Mary, and all of the Family, to serve the Lord our Parent -- for up until now, I have done little or nothing.