She was the daughter of an Albanian grocer who at age 18 decided to work in the slums of Calcutta. She was known to pick up children in the garbage dumps with all kinds of possible diseases.
When asked, where she gets her motivation, Mother Teresa answered, “I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene…I serve because I love Jesus.”
When I first read this quote, it totally changed my perspective in life. To be honest, I was such a self-righteous Christian years ago. When I drove downtown Los Angeles and saw the homeless living in cardboard boxes, I often looked at them with a judging “eye.” “Look at these people! They probably deserve it. I will not be surprised that most of these were drug addicts, criminals and just plain lazy people.”
Frankly, those comments were my poor excuses for not doing anything to help, or even offer a prayer.
Mother Teresa’s philosophy of ministry gave me a totally different vision of ministry. Since then, my vision of ministry is Jesus. Let me explain.
Now that I have Mother Teresa’s vision, “I see Jesus in every human being,” I can confidently now say, I saw Jesus last week. He was wearing blue jeans and an old shirt. He was up at the building we call our church; He was alone and working hard. For just a minute he looked a little like one of the people who regularly attend our church. But it was Jesus, I could tell by his smile.
I saw Jesus this morning. He was in my kitchen making breakfast for the family. For just a minute he looked like my wife. But it was Jesus, I could feel the love from his heart. I saw Jesus this afternoon. He was cutting the grass in the community where I live. He was smiling and waving at everyone who was driving down our street. It made me feel special even if it was only for a moment. For a minute, I thought it was just another person we paid to keep our community clean. But it was Jesus. No one else has that much joy.
I saw Jesus last night. He was sitting out in the street looking for someone to help him. For a minute he looked like just another homeless person. But it was Jesus. I could tell by the look of sincere suffering in his eyes. I see Jesus everywhere. Taking food to the sick, welcoming others to his home, being friendly to someone who needs love and for just a minute I think he’s someone I know. The other day, I heard Jesus on the phone. He was in the hospital on bed, sick and feeling lonely, hoping for a friend to give him a visit.
Early this morning when I woke up, I proceeded to the bathroom as I do often. I look at the mirror and the thought came to me. How do I look like to people I meet?