May 12, 2020: PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
Thirty-four years ago, Ginny and I went to Assisi on our honeymoon. At the time, I worked for the founder of Covenant House, a Franciscan priest. Ginny worked for a Poor Clare nun.
It was the end of January, and it was freezing. We had the small village to ourselves, since nobody visits from Epiphany through Ash Wednesday.
We had always loved St. Francis, but this joy-filled immersion created a special bond that still exists today.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…
Two months ago, I introduced you to Joshua, a young man we thought may have contracted the coronavirus. Thank God, he did not.
Joshua came to us shortly after witnessing a series of murders in the course of ten months: his uncle, his best friend, and his brother were all shot and killed. Understandably, it has been a long healing process.
Joshua is an amazingly talented artist. His art has been truly therapeutic—not only for his own recovery, but for our whole Covenant House community. He has been earning and saving money. Next month, he will move into his own apartment. We are so proud of him.
We thought you’d enjoy a small peek into his current collection:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness; joy.
Over the years, I have prayed the St. Francis prayer thousands of times. What, however, is God calling me to do TODAY, and the weeks and months ahead in the midst of this pandemic? For me to truly bring peace, what else can and should I be doing? I can surely do more…
And so I read the prayer again, slowly.
The simple, brief list can seem overwhelming. So can caring for 185 homeless youth & children, 24/7.
But then I think of Joshua, a child of God with a broken heart, finding healing and peace in his art.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, not knowing what lies ahead…