Quote: BLESSED MOTHER TERESA
Image: a network of grateful living
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Blessed Mother Teresa
These words spoken by Mother Teresa have been near to my heart and in my prayers during these last few days. Today I am once again heartbroken as I watch the streets of Yemen fill with anger and fire – while a barren airplane hangar becomes sacred space as America brings home the remains of 4 men who died while seeking peace in Libya. Our airwaves are filled with sound bites–angry and compassionate, uncaring and in solidarity, disrespectful and filled with honor, unjust and seeking justice. The messages are mixed and self-serving.
What will it take for us to belong to one another? I have lived my life trying to share the good news of peace. There have been moments when doing so has required risk. And as I watch the brief, compassionate ceremony for those four men who knew the risk of spreading peace to their death, I question our ability to negotiate respect and teach ‘belonging’. There is no simple resolution for the conflict that permeates our world.
This is not a comfortable place for me. Questioning our ability to bring peace is not something I want to consider. I have lived believing in the promise of peace and the healing of hope. This has been part of my walk in faith – a walk that has allowed me the honor to meet amazing people along the path. And as we have met, we have known what it means to belong to one another.
This has been my walk of faith. Yet on a day like today I am reminded that faith does not exclude doubt. Even though I wonder whether peace can be obtained, I still carry that promise of hope and healing. It may be better to reflect on Mother Teresa’s words remembering that part of belonging to one another means at times we struggle (which doesn’t always feel peaceful). The work is hard and today I grieve for the loss of life in the explosion of anger witnessed this week.
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
Blessed Mother Teresa
These words can be encouragement yet I reflect on them more as a challenge this morning.
Does the world feel too chaotic? Are we bombarded with confusing and out-right unkind statements concerning our political leaders and neighbors? It is not easy to understand this shift in the way decisions are being made in this day and time – decisions on the way we care for and respect one another. To err on the side of kindness seems to have been lost in an angry and selfish movement filled with fear and inequality.
The chaos swirling all around us can feel out-of-control and therefore ‘hopeless’. In many ways all of the noise makers are betting on the fact that planting fear and confusion will discourage most people and leaving them an empty road to ride filled with satisfied triumph. In this moment, take Mother Teresa’s words to heart. We are called to act with confidence – our deeds will serve those in need and bring about justice – one person at a time. What is before you as you begin this day? Who will cross your path in need of a simple gesture of kindness?
This may not bring immediate gratification, at least when it comes to global justice and peace. Yet our actions offered with care and respect are crucial. Each act, as if a drop, joins other such acts and soon – the world can be filled with a sea of kindness. A sea designed to encourage hearts weak with fear and isolation.
No better time to begin than now. This day be alert, stay awake – notice one way to offer help where help is needed People are longing for examples of how to make a difference. Be that example, one action at a time.