The Sidewalk Saint

I’m a fan of the Saint Francis Prayer.  Bringing peace to chaos and shining a light into dark places is the way to go.  Understanding rather than being understood and loving rather than being loved can bring results.  Acting rather than being acted upon gets things done.  But, being human, I like receiving as much as giving. And I’d rather be born without having to die first, a request I’ll slip into the Celestial Suggestion Box.  While I’m here, I try to practice the principles of the Saint Francis prayer.

So I’m walking home from work with my Seeing Eye dog, Randy, when we are surrounded by the Unholy Trinity: lawn mower, weed whacker and leaf blower.  This trio renders me deaf to street sounds I need for safe travel. But I nip my budding resentment with the words, “Everybody deserves to make a living.  Keep calm and keep walking.”

Randy stops at the corner and, when I urge him forward, he stays put.  Then I realize the landscapers’ truck is blocking the crosswalk. As my fresh resentment takes root, I hear a voice saying, “Here.  Give me your hand.  I will guide you across the street.”

“Is this your truck?” I ask the voice.

“Yes.  I am sorry.  Give me your hand.  I will guide you across the street.”

“Your truck is blocking the crosswalk,” I say.

“Yes.  I am sorry.  Give me your hand.  I will guide you across the street.”

Now, here’s where my Saint Francis training kicks in.  I’m on the verge of throwing a snit fit.  But I pause, take the offered hand and surprise myself by saying, “I forgive you.”

As we cross the street, I start laughing.  ‘I forgive you?’  What am I, the Pope? Since when do I dispense dispensation?  But it sounded good and it felt good and it got the desired result so I say it again, pat the guy on the back and walk on, shining my light.


Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.
That where there is hatred, I may bring love,
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony,
That where there is error, I may bring truth,
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith,
That where there is despair, I may bring hope,
That where there are shadows, I may bring light,
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted,
To understand than to be understood,
To love than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.


This entry was posted in Adapting, independent travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Sidewalk Saint

  1. bethfinke says:

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.


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