When we vacationed in Italy a few years ago, one of the highlights of our stay in Tuscany included a visit to La Verna, a Franciscan Monastery nestled in the forest at the top of a high mountain. This monastery was where St. Francis of Assisi traveled for spiritual rest and discernment, and it is there that he received the stigmata.
Displayed in the main basilica is St Francis' robe, and I can't even begin to describe how emotional this was for all of us.
Outside, and down a steep flight of stone steps, is the cave where St. Francis slept. Cold, damp and dark, the cave contains a stone slab bed with a small depression on one end where St. Francis rested his head.
It is a holy place, so a chain prevents visitors from venturing too close.
And here, in this precise spot, is where Jonathan chose to leave evidence of his visit.
In his eagerness to see where St. Francis slept, Jonathan jumped over the chain to get a better look. After we grabbed him and hauled him back over, we stared in collective disbelief at the distinct footprint of a sneaker he had left in the damp earth near St. Francis' bed.
What to do? We couldn't reach far enough over the chain to brush out the footprint, we couldn't step over because we would leave even more footprints, and we didn't feel it would be right to get mad at our son in front of St. Francis. So, with a heartfelt prayer/apology to St. Francis, we left things as they were.
Which means Jonathan's footprint may still be there today.