“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who does not have anything to eat. “
Imagine- you have just arrived in a 3rd world country, the heat is unbearable, the stench smothers you and the sight of dirty children and disease and despair is beyond anything you had imagined the world could possess. The sight is overwhelming in more than one aspect, physically you are overcome and wanting to escape while at the same time you desire to see the communities restored in their health and spirit.. yet, you ask yourself what one person can do to affect any of this.
By simply reading about Mother Teresa it’s apparent she is a woman of reputation and respect, yet she spoke with the simplicity of your average woman. I have no doubt that she questioned herself on multiple occasions, “can I change this community”, “what am I doing” or “is this all in vain”… the questions we constantly find ourselves asking. Yet, she pressed on- beyond doubt, questions and criticism and affected an entire world by her work.
The leper slums of India created the scene that she invested her life in. There are stories, recanting of moments and life-altering messages that have come out of her ministry there. There is no doubt that Mother Teresa was one of the most influential women of the past century, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, inspiring millions and bring peace and at times healing to those affected by disease- she has defined the “power of one”.
While there are many days that I am overwhelmed by the needs of the world, or how much I want to change things for the better… there are just as many days that I feel helpless as one person. People such as Mother Teresa who change, develop and impact the world do it over a lifetime. It comes down to making the decision to live beyond themselves and to ignore their fears and questions every day on their way to a lifetime of influence.
Be encouraged. Start today. Stay overwhelmed.