11/27/15 2:00 AM
Francis understood Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper at a very deep level. He did not need encouragement to be a servant leader; no other way of leading would have made sense to him. Not everyone in the brotherhood came to that conclusion as quickly as he did, but he patiently led them to accept the Lord’s style of servant leadership. Before he got off his horse one day and embraced a leper as a brother in Christ, Saint Francis probably had thrown a few coins to lepers from a very safe distance. Bonaventure later wrote that Francis’s service to God began with a victory over himself. In fact, this incident helped Francis to see that what he had previously regarded as very bitter was, in fact, truly sweet.