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..."