If you could have a conversation with five different people in history, who would they be? And what would you talk about? In idle moments I sometimes muse on these questions.
My list changes frequently, often reflecting whatever biography I've been reading. But there's one person who is always near the top of the list: Francis of Assisi. I would really, really like to talk with him. I'd love to get into his heart.
The son of a businessman and originally destined for wealth, a youngish Francis suffered some, met a few lepers, heard God's voice in a vision and ended up following Jesus. The details of Francis Bernardone's Christian conversion vary from biographer to biographer, but there is one point on which all agree: that he decisively rejected a material view of reality and began living as a devoted Christ-follower. Having made this decision, he never looked back. One biographer, Adolph Holl, called Francis the last authentic Christian.
Francis has been gone for 800 years or so, but if he ...1