There are times in cross-cultural work–in those nuanced, complicated relationships–that the differences dividing us seem simply too overwhelming. How can we possibly connect when we can’t even agree on that?
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was born into a wealthy, worldly Italian family under the original name of Giovanni Francesco di Pietro di Berardone. (Try saying that five times fast.) But upon his conversion, his life altered dramatically. He actually took the swanky clothes from his back and handed them to his father, longing to “imitate Christ” in a lifestyle of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
In the midst of his “great agony of doubt”, Francis sent a friend to ask others in the faith to pray for him. They separately replied the following:
God did not call you for yourself alone but also for the salvation of others. -St. Francis of Assisi Click To Tweet
“The Lord says you are to tell Brother Francis this: that God has not called him to this state only on his own account, but that he may reap a harvest of souls and that many may be saved through him.”
“He wants you to go about the world preaching, because God did not call you for yourself alone but also for the salvation of others.”*
This thought of going overseas can be nothing short of intimidating. But is there a chance God’s dreams are even bigger than yours?
Like this post? You might like
*As reported by Foster, Richard J. and James Bryan Smith, eds. Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups. New York: HarperOne (2005), pp. 295-296. Quotations from The Little Flowers of St. Francis.
The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.
― Henry Martyn, 19th century global worker to the people of India and PersiaThe spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become. -Henry Martyn Click To Tweet