Sunday, August 17, 2014

And above all these...

Colossians 3:12-14
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another....
And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 

I picked up a book last week from our volunteer library.

It is called Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom.

I have been starting my days now by reading two or three little quotes each morning. It would be the perfect way to start your day anywhere in the world, but seems especially apropos to life here.  Her words and her example have touched me deeply, particularly on the days when I myself am serving those with leprosy.

She was an amazing, humble person and I am grateful for her example of PURE CHARITY and PURE LOVE.

The first time I was introduced to Rising Star Outreach was at BYU Education Week many, many years ago where the founder, Becky Douglas, was speaking on love, service, and charity. I was so deeply touched that I remember crying all the way to my next class.  Little did I know that Becky's words and example would lead me to where I am today.

Reading every morning from the words of Mother Teresa has brought back all those same feelings, that same witness of this amazing work that we get to be a part of.

Here are a couple of my favorites from this last week...

"I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper's wounds I feel I am nursing The Lord himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?"

I remember Becky talking about this in that very first Mother Teresa looked on each leper, on each homeless, filthy person as Christ himself. She served each person as if they were her Savior, she washed their wounds with the same love she would have shown her God.

I find it to be such a powerful, stirring thought.

I saw a homeless man just yesterday in Mamallapuram. He was most definitely the filthiest human being I have ever seen. He was clothed in a torn, dirty, threadbare undershirt that was long enough to reach his thighs. His arms and legs were emaciated and in some places mud-caked. His hair was long, all the way down his back, but it was one matted mass of knotted hair, leaves, lice, and grime. We saw him multiple times during the day.  My only feeling was that I wanted to make sure I did not pass too closely to him.

I am not Mother Teresa. (I know you all knew that already...but here is absolute proof!)

Her words give me something to strive for. She was an extremely rare kind of person...the kind that effects people long, long after they have finished their mortal life.

I am grateful, so grateful for her example and will continue to strive to see my Savior in every person that I see. I have a long way to go!

The most wonderful thing about this idea is that you don't have to go anywhere special to do this. Wherever you are...whoever you are with...THAT is where you can strive to treat another as you would the Savior. THAT is where you can see Christ in another human being and treat them with the dignity that is then requisite.

"Charity begins today. Today somebody is suffering, today somebody is in the street, today somebody is hungry. Our work is for today, yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not come yet. We only have today to make Jesus known, loved, served, fed, clothed, sheltered. Do not wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow we will not have them if we do not feed them today."

Isn't that just beautiful? Who do you know that needs YOU--- to KNOW them today, to LOVE them today, to SERVE or FEED or CLOTHE them today, or desperately needs your sheltering love and compassion??

Today is the day where we can all strive to see Christ in those around us.  And don't worry, no need to feel overwhelmed...none of this has to be big stuff. We don't have to think fact, I think it is always better to think think about individuals and person-to-person interactions.

"We can do no great things...only small things with great love."

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