The Leper…

Posted: March 3, 2012 by Ty in Current Events, Musings, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

Image via Wikipedia

St. Francis of Assisi is a well known saint, or as my Dad dubbed him when I told him why I became a Franciscan, “oh he’s a shit disturber like you”. See Francis answered God‘s call, and well he did good stumbling through life but he stuck with a prejudice that was acceptable for quite awhile and that was fear, hatred, and abuse of the lepers.

That was until one day, when a group of lepers were walking down the street. Francis and his followers began doing what was normal in the day, mocking them, spitting at them, throwing things…one stumbled and fell. Francis met his eyes and in his eyes he saw a flicker.

Francis called on his followers to stop, walked across the robe, aided the Leper up, embraced him and kissed him with the holy kiss of greeting “I welcome and love you Brother Jesus.” from that kiss forward Franciscans went further to reach out.

Fast forward 800 years. . . to a brisk winter night on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. I am doing outreach in 2002 to those sleeping outside because Ottawa does not have enough shelter beds and as the capital they want to live in blissful ignorance to the rising crisis around them. Under the bridge I meet a young 15 year old transgendered youth, Alex, who converses with me and tells me that his Christian family disowned him when he transitioned to live life as the two spirited person God created…he was soo scared that he was hell bound.

Before I left to move onto the next encampment I left Alex with these parting words, “If God sends you to hell for how She created you, then I want to go to Hell as well because Heaven would not be heaven without you there.”

Sadly, in the morning I would be identifying Alex as he did not make it through the night… but the message was simple, for me that night under the bridge I met Brother Jesus anew…

Where do you meet Brother Jesus?

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