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Theology According to Francene

Photo: Pierre Sanders and Francene Short make homemade pretzels together. Photo by Bethany Keener

Last year I was struggling with my spiritual identity. I didn’t know what to believe or why I believed what I believed. I had people around me telling me that what I believed in was wrong. I believed the word that was used was heretic. (If you look at it, Jesus was a heretic to. That will be another post.)

So  I began a journey to re-evaluate my relationship with God. I started my search through Google. I began to learn about the different atonement theories and the history of the church. I soon realized that no one had the answer.

The more I read  the more confused I got. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere.

Then one night I had a dream that finally put my soul to rest. I don’t remember very much about the dream, but what I do remember is seeing my friend and housemate, Francene Short, saying to me, “It’s love, Pierre.” I woke up and everything seemed clearer. My search had finally come to an end.

“It’s love, Pierre,” kept replaying in my head. Every question I had about God and the universe was simply answered by “It’s love, Pierre.”

Does God exist? It’s love, Pierre.

Why did Jesus die? It’s love, Pierre.

Just simple good-ole-fashion love. It’s just that easy … right?

The concept of love is known by many, but understood by few. I have been a member of L’Arche’s home on 6th Street in Arlington for three years now. Since coming to L’Arche I have learned the true meaning of love. I understand the sacrifices and struggles that come with experiencing true love. The vulnerability and rejection that you risk experiencing because you love. I also know the acceptance and joy one might experience from being loved.

For three years I have learned the meaning of love and have tried to practice it daily.

Has it always been successful? No, it hasn’t. But now I know what it looks like.

Pierre Sanders and Francene Short joined the L’Arche 6th Street home when it opened in August, 2010. Out of his experience working with youth and his life in L’Arche, Pierre developed an interactive workshop for youth about what it means to value one’s self and others within community. Find more of Pierre’s reflections (written and video) on his blog,

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