[Note: While I’m on vacation, TLC features guest posts by Landon Saunders.]
I was reminded recently of an interview I watched with Mother Teresa. She had just won the Nobel Prize, and the interviewer said to her, “Mother Teresa, you have a great audience now. How can we help you? What can we do?” She didn’t answer. And so, he pressed her again, “Do you need money?” She replied, very simply, “No.” He asked, “Do you need recruits?” Again, she simply said, “No.” At this point, the interviewer seemed to become more frustrated, continuing to press her. Finally, she said, “Well, if you really want to help, you might go out in the street and find someone who needs you—who is lonely—and you might spend some time with him.”
These days, it is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed when we look around and see so much need and so much to do. We want to know how we can help, but in the face of such challenges we feel ill-equipped.
Over the years of my life, I have come to believe that at the very heart and soul of it all—at the very core—the thing each of us needs most is someone who knows how to be with us. And the greatest gift any of us can ever give is to be a person who knows how to be with another.
To be someone who knows how to put a hand on someone’s shoulder, not forgetting his worth, not forgetting her value, not forgetting the full story of that person’s life, and simply be present…this, as Mother Teresa reminds us, is perhaps the most important way we can be of help in our homes, in our communities, and in our world.