First … a disclosure … I’m not a saint.
Now that we got that out of the way, this morning I had a Francis of Assisi moment. Let me explain …
Francis was a Catholic friar known for giving away his fortune and founding the Catholic men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of St. Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers, followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. But he was also known for his love of nature and its inhabitants. It is said, one day, while Francis was traveling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to “wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds.” The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. He is often portrayed with a bird, typically in his hand.
None of that is me, but here’s my Francis moment.
This morning, while out in the gazebo, I was just soaking in the quietness of nature. The sun was shining. There was a slight breeze.
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a squirrel — they are so much fun to watch — with a big old nut in his mouth. He hopped toward the garage, did an about face, headed into brush, dug a little to bury the nut and started toward the gazebo. I figured he would veer off, but all of a sudden the wicker rocker started to rock and little squirrel jumped onto the seat … just sat there staring at me.
Meanwhile, a rocking robin was bobbing for breakfast. Next thing I knew, he wound up on the gazebo railing … just sat there staring at me.
Finally, a bee started buzzing around my head. Without swatting I simply said, “I’m not going to bother you, so don’t bother me.” The bee just buzzed back and forth about six inches from my head.
So, there we were … silly squirrel, rockin’ robin, busy bee and me … all at one in harmony with nature. It was truly a moment to savor.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: When everything in life turns upside down, remember you are in the hands of the Creator. Look to God, and you’ll always know which way is up.
Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals. He dearly loved animals and the things of nature. Actually, he considered animals to be our brothers and sisters, and not just animals. The love of animals and nature is something I share with Francis.