1 Lover & many Losers
Dominique Voillaume lived, died and proved the opposite of the above bankrupt myth.
At 54 he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. This gentle sage who led a small band of youthful monks was no seeker of honor or personal aggrandisement.
On learning of His death sentence he resigned from his small spiritual community to take a factory job in Paris as a night-watchman. Thus, he was enabled to live out his final days blessing and loving the lost, the least, the last and the lonely.
(Death is man's best friend when he knows it is his vestibule to Paradise.)
Dominique then deliberately rented very sparse accommodation across from a Parisian park. Here he would serve those he loved and whom he lived for. Daily he shared a dilapidated bench to simply affirm and never condemn these ner-do-wells.
In an outwardly serene and selfless devotion he lived his final days. He hid under ignominy, unnoticed by the masses - but loving and loved by the losers.
One morning he failed to appear at his customary park bench.
Below are recorded his final thoughts within this world. They were entered in his devotional diary just a few hours prior to his death:
"All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and my witness. If He wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that". #
And then He died alone, priorities so humbly in place at still a tender age. His heart was in heaven well before his soul. He had sent his heart ahead from every dusky park bench.
Dominique was to be discovered later in his near empty hovel located in an obscure Parisian slum.
More than 7000 folk gathered from across Europe for his funeral.
The Last Word:
Any spirituality that does not lead from a self-centered existence to an other-centered mode of existence is bankrupt.#
#This quote and adapted story are found in Brennan Manning - The Signature of Jesus (Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books 2005) 98-99