In 1970, the noted British TV broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge went to Calcutta to do a special documentary on Mother Teresa for BBC-TV.
On the fated morning of their meeting (a morning that would change him for the rest of his life) he met Mother Teresa as she was working out in the streets with sick and poor people in a ghetto like he had never seen before, amid stench, filth, garbage, disease, and poverty that was just unbelievable.
But what struck Muggeridge more than anything else, even there in that awful squalor and decadence, was the deep, warm glow on Mother Teresa’s face and the deep, warm love in her eyes.
“Do you do this every day?” he began his interview.
“Oh, yes,” she replied, “it is my mission. It is how I serve and love my Lord.”
“How long have you been doing this? How many months?”
“Months?” said Mother Teresa.
“Not months, but years. Maybe eighteen years.”
“Eighteen years!” exclaimed Muggeridge. “You’ve been working here in these streets for eighteen years?”
“Yes,” she said simply and yet joyfully. “It is my privilege to be here. These are my people. These are the ones my Lord has given me to love.”
“Do you ever get tired? Do you ever feel like quitting and letting someone else take over your ministry? After all, you are beginning to get older.”
“Oh, no,”she replied, “this is where the Lord wants me, and this is where I am happy to be. I feel young when I am here. The Lord is so good to me. How privileged I am to serve him.”
Later, Malcolm Muggeridge said, “I will never forget that little lady as long as I live. The face, the glow, the eyes, the love – it was all so pure and so beautiful. I shall never forget it. It was like being in the presence of an angel. It changed my life. I have not been the same person since. It is more than I can describe.”
By the way, after Malcolm Muggeridge made those comments, Mother Teresa continued to serve in that sacrificial way until the end of her life nearly twenty-seven more years.
Obviously, we can’t all be Mother Teresa, but we can all live in that spirit. In our own ways, we can all learn to give. Mother Teresa has taught us so much about how to live and how to die to ourselves, in times like we are going through.
How have you overcome your fears and used your Giving Heart like Mother Teresa during this coronavirus pandemic?