Fireworks and St. Francis

June 30, 2010 21:39

One year, I was leading a tour of Italy and we happened to be in Assisi for the 4th of July.  I had a bunch of teenagers with me, and they reminded me that they had never been away from the US on our Independence Day.  I knew I wasn't going to find any fireworks, and I also realized that it wasn't necessarily the place to whip out our American flags.

So, we did the next best thing.  We sat around in the piazza outside the doors of the Basilica of St. Francis, and prayed.  One person had speakers attached to his ipod, so we listened to some praise and worship music, praying and singing, as the sun went down.  It was a really beautiful and powerful prayer experience for me and my fellow travelers.

But what causes us to remember that evening is the fact that, as soon as the sun went down, somewhere on the opposite side of the valley below the Basilica, fireworks began shooting into the sky.  The display didn't last long, but, as I recall, it was a good-sized display.   It had been like a miracle and we all stood there awestruck.  Then we laughed like crazy.

God wanted to give us a little gift that night, and He surely did.  I don't think anyone on that trip mentioned being homesick again.  Our God is a God of miracles, some big and some small. No matter how bad things might seem, we can never lose sight of His love and care for us.

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