Thursday, November 4, 2010

With Mother Teresa, 1977

Mother Teresa and new believer in her doorway, Calcutta, India. I took this photo the one time I was in India, November 1977. That was two years before she was recognized world-wide receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

The death a few years ago of Mother Teresa brought back the personal memory of my one occasion of meeting this one who was called of God to work among "the poorest of the poor."

I was there to visit this diminutive woman of such personal devotion and see for myself what God could do with a dedicated soul. I was allowed the privilege of joining in an afternoon prayer session with a dozen or so of her assistants. My visit in her sitting room was one remember. Simple wicker chairs, a small table. That was it. Simple, but powerful just as the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. She gave of time as if I was the most important person in the world. This one who cared for the dying and gave her every day to others could not have been more patient and kind to me, an associate pastor from Texas.

After a walk through the grounds and buildings with the ill and dying "no bodies" I left at a side entrance of her Home for Dying Destitute. The sign was also written in several Indian languages. No door, you just step out into the small but crowded backwater lane. But not leaving in spirit. Her spirit of loving our Lord and the outcasts has stayed with me. The little Albanian nun who first taught the well-to-do when she got to India but soon was granted her request to be with what the world calls dregs of humanity.

British author Malcolm Muggeridge brought Mother Teresa to the attention of the world several years before the 1970s. A woman who demonstrated the value and importance of the spirit of discipline in prayer.

She answered my question that so many have ask her: "With all the poverty and suffering so staggering here, where does one begin to make a difference?" She said, You start with what crosses your path, what is right before you ... give dignity to the first dying person you meet ... take in your arms the first abandoned baby you see just do what comes naturally.

FROM MY BOOK, "Saints Alive, saints are sinners who keep on trying" 2006.

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