Friday, July 27, 2007

Short...but what an impact

I just realized that my title could describe the book I just read tonight and also the woman it was about. The book was Mother Teresa: Reaching Out in Love. It is a collection of true stories she told over the course of her life about what she had seen and done. It's good for me to sit down and read things like this from time to time so I don't forget the vast suffering that takes place daily for the majority of people on this planet. It's a vivid reminder to love first- and I love how she teaches it; that love starts in our own family, then neighborhood, then community, and continues to circle out from there. If we aren't showing love to our own family, we're neglecting our first priority. Then, we should know our neighbors. Mother Teresa reminds us that not all are suffering materially, for many suffer spiritually and emotionally. There are outcasts all around us. Her message is so simple. The images of people discarded on garbage heaps, of babies abandoned to die, of starving children are swimming in my mind and making me sick of my own lavish surroundings. And her solution- do a little bit less for yourself, and a little bit more for someone else. She told one man not to give up his large house and car, but to use the car to bring undesirables to his home so that they might enjoy it for a few hours. This all coincides with the message of simplicity I have been drawn to study (and which is so difficult for me to live out, I am the first to admit). Be wise and careful in spending and acquiring...and above all put relationship first. Invest in people not things. That starts at home, just as Mother Teresa says. We invest our time and love in our children and spouse. We seek out our lonely or troubled neighbors. We find time to serve others (self sacrifice, the anti-American way!) It all reminds me of the song "They'll know we are Christians by our love..."


Quad Squad! said...

I love that song. It touches me every time I hear it or sing it! And I am constantly trying to make the idea a stronger part of my life. But sometimes it's so hard not to think about yourself. It's good for us to keep reminding each other what is really important!

Lindsay said...

Mother Teresa is my inspiration. I always cry when I read her words. She is so amazing. I am not sure why it is so hard to live out her example. It is not that it is hard to love - it is hard to get out of the comfort zone. I need to read that book. Thanks for this post. It is a great reminder for the important things in life.

Lynn said...

There have always been those of faith that stand out. When you look at all the pages of the Bible and then look at who really stand out there are not that many compared to all the people that lived during the same time. Mother Theresa, Ghandi, George Muller, Hudson Taylor, etc. are all more recent examples. It would be nice if all of us could exemplify such oustanding faith in action. My guess is that alot of us (me being at the head of the list) just don't want to sacrifice self as much as is required to be a true hero in the faith. Fortunately, God's grace forgives us in our weaknesses and we aren't saved by our good works. But these wonderful heroes do inspire us to try to do some better in our corner of the world.