Dubai, UAE en route to Kolkata, India
03 July 2012
It never fails to happen! Every time I return to Kolkata to serve at Mother Teresa’s homes I meet others who were either touched by the diminutive nun with the big heart or who are also Kolkata-bound to serve the least of these. While waiting in Dubai for our flight to Kolkata, an Emirates Airlines employee told me that when she was growing up in the Philippines, Mother Teresa had visited her town. Moments later, a businessman from India introduced himself to me. “Kolkata is my home,” he said. “Thank you for bringing so many young people to serve the poor at Mother Teresa’s homes.” He then gave me his business card and told me to call him if we needed anything during our stay. While I chatted with him, two medical students from France introduced themselves to Laura, one of our students. They told her that they were headed for Kolkata to spend two months serving at Mother Teresa’s homes.
What I find amazing is that the Missionaries of Charity do not advertise or solicit volunteers, yet volunteers from all over the world continue to travel to Kolkata at their own expense to engage in doing something utterly selfless. In a day when terrorists that perform unspeakable acts of violence fill our hearts with dread, Mother Teresa continues to show us a supremely better way to change the world through small and simple acts of kindness done with great love. She proved that love can repair lives damaged by hatred and neglect and can also restore hope and dignity to the least of these. She often referred to herself as a little pencil in the hand of God. Our world is a better place because she allowed God to use her to write a great love story. Ultimately Mother Teresa reminds us that we cannot change the world until we change ourselves — or rather allow God to change us and to use us as His instruments of love.
Becoming an instrument of God’s love is not something that happens overnight. It is instead a slower process that requires that we allow God to use us to serve others one choice at a time. The really good thing about volunteering at Mother Teresa’s is that it is the kind of unconditional service that must be done without expecting anything in return. When we make ourselves available to God to use us in this way, then each act of kindness becomes one more sentence in the narrative of our lives that makes our story worth reading. Each of us, like Mother Teresa, will leave a legacy. We can leave a lasting legacy if we will consistently do acts of kindness, no matter how small, with great love. I am glad to be back in Kolkata with our team of students and look forward to the story that God will write through them over the coming days. May it be a grand narrative of love.