Last Wednesday marked the 21st anniversary of the passing of the “Saint of the Gutters” Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I shared a story about Mother this past week with a friend of mine as we were talking about the amazing impact that this tiny Albanian nun had on the world and that still resonates two decades after her death.
One of the greatest honors that I have had in my life was the opportunity to have corresponded with Mother Teresa. Her love and compassion for the poorest of the poor around the world has been the model that Eblen Charities endeavors to offer to those we seek to serve.
Mother touched hundreds of thousands of lives with her kindness and never looked beyond the one right in front of her whom she was helping. This story is a prime illustration of her and the Missionaries of Charities way of caring for those in need.
“We have a place in Australia (As you know, many of the Aborigines live there in very bad conditions.) When we went around in that place, we found an old man in a terrible condition. I went in there and tried to talk to him and then I said to him ‘kindly allow me to clean your place and clean your bed and so on’. He answered ‘I’m all right’.
I said to him ‘You will be more all right if I clean your place.’ In the end he allowed me to do it and when I was in his room (I call it a room, but it was actually not a room) I noticed that he had a lamp, a very beautiful lamp that was covered with dirt and dust.
I said to him, ‘Do you light that lamp?’ And he said ‘For whom? Nobody comes here. I never see anybody. Nobody comes to me. I don’t need to light the lamp.’
Then I asked him ‘If the sisters come to you, will you light the lamp for them?’ He answered, ‘Yes, I’d do it.’ So the sisters started going to him in the evening and he used to light the lamp.
Afterwards (he lived for more than two years), he sent word to me through the sisters and said, ‘Tell my friend that, the light she lit in my life is still burning.’
That was such a small thing, but it was there in that darkness of loneliness.
A light was lit and that light kept on burning.”
It is my hope that all those that come into contact with anyone from Eblen Charities can have a light lit in their life that our kindness helps spark. Thank you all for being part of so many lives and for being such a great part of the Eblen Charities and the light you have lit in our lives.