Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Making a Difference

Mother Theresa set a stunning example for us all.
"You cannot cure the soul of others or ‘help people,’ without having changed yourself. You cannot put in order the spiritual economy of others, so long as there is chaos in your own soul. You cannot bring peace to others if you do not have it yourself. Often, we help other people, not by a series of conscious acts directed upon their soul, but rather by influencing them through our spiritual gifts, without ourselves seeing or knowing how we do so." ~Fr. Alexander Elchaninov

I didn't know that.

A sweet lady I sort of know pulled me aside to talk for a moment.  She began telling me how I'd greeted her a few years ago and how helpful and encouraging it had been for her during a difficult time.  Then she told me how once I had stopped to tell her about how delightful her children had been in a class we taught and that it had been an important moment for her to hear those things.  She thanked me for being a good brother.  I hadn't known it was important.

,,, and assistance in western Africa
Family and student project ...
We're conscious of the needs of others, particularly when they're dramatic needs. Hunger, poverty, war and violence ....  
The local church brings relief to a village in eastern Africa 
after a terrorist attack.
What perhaps we're blind to are the hidden needs in every soul. We deliberately address the needs we see with what resources we have; sponsor a kid, help a family, lend a hand, those kinds of things.  Every day though, we touch the lives of others by the person we've become over the years; we hope it helps when we do.

It hadn't really occurred to me that helping others would require big changes in me, but I guess it does.  Still more needed, obviously.