This statue of Saint Francis was standing in the garden at the Santa Barbara Mission. You can see that it has weathered in the elements. I was caught by the way his chest has rotted away. To me it spoke of his heart which was so beautiful and open. He did not shield it nor protect it but left it open to all the elements. He faced much criticism in his lifetime from his family and friends who did not understand his chosen path. I could feel such a resonance with him. He opened his heart so wide to the people and animals around him. Now he can shelter the birds that he so loved. They can actually find a space to land in his heart.
I want my heart to be that open and sheltering. I want to see everyone through the eyes of compassion and love. I want my love to flow in a stream that never ends. At times, I feel my heart afire with love for everyone and everything. I can feel my heart light turn on when I sink into its beauty and light. It is a physical sensation, almost a burning pain that allows me to feel love ever deeper. Oh, Saint Francis guide my steps. Let everything and everyone feel the love of our Mother/Father God flow through me. Let my heart come undone. Help me to expose it openly, to stand naked before the world with it blazing bright with your light. There is only love.
I think the shattering of our hearts, the bruises and arrows we have endured are what open it ever wider. How did Saint Francis get a heart that was dug open to the world? His feet did not wear out, nor his hands nor arms. No, his heart is what was worn to the point of disappearing, to creating a cavity within that could now hold life physically as well as emotionally and spiritually. We are in the heart time. We are learning to think with our hearts. Trust with our hearts, trust our own hearts. We are expanding beyond personal love into the realms of unconditional love like our Mother/Father holds for us. We are being asked to come up higher and the pathway is through our hearts.
I am grateful for this statue of Saint Francis that has given me another clue. He is my guide this day, on the path to that heart space.