Mother Teresa is going to be a saint, but I just wish she was my friend, or maybe an older aunt who would invite me over for a strong cup of Indian tea.
I never met her, but sometimes I find myself longing to talk to her, wishing with all my heart I could hold her love-worn, ancient hands in mine and ask her what I most need to know…
“How did you do it? How did you love so faithfully?”
I know the pat answer. It is one of her most famous quotes…
“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise…”
Right. But I want details. Because this life God has granted me is nothing compared to hers and let me tell you, it is no picnic around here.
I mean, how did she do it?
What sustained her when she was exhausted? How did she hold bitterness at bay when she was despised by those she served? (Because I gaurantee you that not everyone was properly thankful for her service.) How early did she rise to pray? How long did she pray? How often did she steal away for solitude and renewal? Did she drink lots of coffee like I do? Is it okay to be addicted to coffee if you are fueling your body for another hour’s service? Did she ever just lose it with someone? If so, did she find it as easy to offer herself grace as the leper at her feet?
How many times did she just want to quit? Was it weekly? Daily? Hourly?
But of course, we all know she did not quit.
We like quotes by Mother Teresa, because they inspire us. We like to be reminded that…
“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”
But how many of us know this one…
“I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.”
Or even better…
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”
I hear in that quote someone who wants out. I wonder if it was the last thing she said that night before she shuffled off to bed, too tired to say her prayers. Somehow, the next day she drug her aching, weary body out of bed and found the strength to serve again.
Yes, Mother Teresa is going to be a saint. She is rapidly on her way.
But I just wish we could have tea. There are things I need to know.