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Forced Simplicity: An Experiment

written by Barry and Joyce Vissell July 29, 2019
Forced Simplicity: An Experiment

Sometimes we get what we ask for without knowing it. And sometimes we don’t like what we get, even though we asked for it. This is what happened to me a few days ago.


A call for simplicity

Joyce and I had just made our annual autumn pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy, where, with a small group from four different countries, we were uplifted by the powerful legacy of Francis and Clare. Francis especially inspires me to discover the joy of simplicity and celebrate the divine in nature. After a week of absorbing the heavenly energies of this place, along with all the love in our group, I am inspired for many months. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the movie, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, in 1973. I left the theater with an overwhelming desire to give away all my possessions, and live the heavenly simple life of a wandering monk. Even without going through this extreme change, I have held Francis’ model of simplicity as something to continually guide my life.

So, returning home from Assisi last week, my heart yet again called out for the gift of simplicity. And here is how my heart’s call was answered. The weather was so hot that, one day, I took our dogs to a local beach. We all had a great time, me walking and the dogs retrieving tennis balls from the ocean. I got back to my truck and knew at once something was wrong. Someone had broken in and stolen my phone and wallet from the glovebox. It’s funny how my mind refused to believe what my eyes saw. I had to open the glovebox several times to make sure these precious possessions were actually gone. They were.

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