“I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.”
~ MATTHEW 25:35 [NLT]
Loved to Love Others
There are many reasons to help people in need. But for the Christian, none is higher than this: when we love those in need, we are loving Jesus. It is a mystery beyond science, a truth beyond statistics. But it is a message that Jesus made crystal clear: when we love them, we love him.
Many years ago I heard a woman discuss this work. She visited a Catholic church in downtown Miami, Florida, in 1979. The small sanctuary overflowed with people. I was surprised. . . . Some sat in windowsills. I found a spot against the back wall and waited. I don’t know if the air-conditioning was broken or nonexistent, but the windows were open, and the south coast air was stuffy. The audience was chatty and restless. Yet when she entered the room, all stirring stopped. . . .
She wore her characteristic white Indian sari with a blue border that represented the Missionaries of Charity, the order she had founded in 1949. Her sixty-nine years had bent her already small frame. But there was nothing small about Mother Teresa’s presence.
“Give me your unborn children,” she offered. (Opening words or just the ones I remember most? I don’t know.) “Don’t abort them. If you cannot raise them, I will. They are precious to God.”
Who would have ever pegged this slight Albanian woman as a change agent? Born in a cauldron of ethnic strife, the Balkans. Shy and introverted as a child. Of fragile health. One of three children. Daughter of a generous but unremarkable businessman. Yet somewhere along her journey, she became convinced that Jesus walked in the “distressing disguise of the poor,” and she set out to love him by loving them. . . .
I wonder if God creates people like Mother Teresa so he can prove his point: “See, you can do something today that will outlive your life.”
OUTLIVE YOUR LIFE
Lord Jesus, help us outlive our lives for you. May our lives count for your kingdom. Let us be your hands, extended to those who need help. May we look for every opportunity to show your love to others. May your love be perfected in us as we give love gladly and freely. Open our hands to give gifts. Open our hearts to give kindness. Open our eyes to shed tears for the sorrows of others. Open our ears to hear hurting hearts, amen.
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.
~ 1 TIMOTHY 6:18
“These things I command you, that you love one another.”
~ JOHN 15:17