The bar for being “down to earth” was set by Francis of Assisi (1181-1226). He was earthy, simple and had a contagious sense of humor. The connected words humor, humility, humus and human remind us that we are all connected to each other and to all creation.
He was totally at home in his skin. Ilia Delio, a student of Francis, said “the earth became his home and all creatures his brothers and sisters. That led him to love and respect the world around him and made him truly a man of peace.” That’s fresh air for the world’s brokenness.
Francis laughed easily and often at himself. He would have enjoyed what happened last week. One morning I moved his statue from the place it occupied for many years so he could help us direct traffic. That afternoon, when the dogs and I went for our afternoon walk, Friar did a double-take as we approached Friar Francis.
He seemed to say, “What’s Frank doing over here?” Perhaps to make sure it was his old friend, he straightway sniffed his face with Reba alongside.