Does a Beggar Walk by your Side and Protect your Soul?

Does a Beggar Walk by your Side and Protect your Soul?

There are times we need someone to walk alongside and remind us very clearly that we are loved and have value. 

It might your own thought life that wants to drag you down. It might be abuse from others or stigma.

For Francis of Assisi, it was his father.

Francis had been deeply wounded by his father, most likely by verbal abuse. So when Francis chose to reject the wealth and financial security of the family business to live with beggars, and have a life of poverty, the abuse was heightened.

Richard Rohr writes this.

Much of his later life, Francis would live on the plain below Assisi, in what is called the Portiuncula, where he first worked with the lepers and gathered his community of friars.

On occasion when Francis would walk up the hill to town, he would deeply fear encountering his father in the streets, who would often curse him and reject again his son. 

Continual rejection from his father hurt him so much that Francesco would invite a beggar from the streets to accompany him, walk by his side and protect his soul. He instructed him,

“When my father hurls curses and abuse at me, I will hear them painfully in one ear, but I ask you to walk on my other side and whisper ‘Francis, you are my beloved son. You are a son of heaven and a son of God’.

Just keep repeating it till I believe it again!” That alone could save him from the sour and sad heart that a father’s rejection forever bestows on a son.

The big lesson for me is to have someone bringing you back to truth.

Someone who will walk by your side and protect your soul.

Francis chose a beggar to do this. Perhaps only a beggar knew what it was like to be in this situation of being cursed, abused and rejected.

Only a beggar could empathize with the pain in Francis’ heart. 

The whispered words of truth from a heavenly father negated the words beating down like heavy rain from his earthly father. 

These words of reaffirmation needed to be repeated until Francis believed them once again. Over and over again we need to be reminded of our true heritage. We can so easily slip into negative beliefs, ‘stinky thinky,’ and others opinions – perceived or actual.

Do you have a ‘beggar’ protecting your soul?

Someone who will remind you of the truth

‘you are my beloved son/daughter.
You are a son/daughter of heaven
and a son/daughter of God’

Can you whisper these words into the ear of someone today?

Maybe you need to repeat them over and over again until the seed of truth germinates and grows to be a strong and fruitful tree. 

Questions to consider and leave a comment.

  • What is it be like to have someone who should be your cheerleader, such as your father or mother, be a curse leader?
  • What would you like to have whispered over and over again in your ears?
  • What stops you from whispering affirmations?

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: metamensch via Compfight cc