Thursday, April 29, 2010

Locating Calcutta: Forgive Me Lord, I'm A Slow Learner



I've been making my way the past few days through a book entitled "Finding Calcutta" by Mary Poplin. Ms Poplin is a professor at Calaremont Graduate University in California who spent two months volunteering at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. Needless to say, it was a life changing experience for her.

I'm nowhere near finished with this little book and yet I find my thoughts fixed on Mother Teresa's Calcutta. There are not many "famous" people in the world of religion I hold in high esteem, but Mother Teresa is certainly one of them. What a truly great woman of God! What a pure example of unconditional love in action.

How often have I longed to go to far away places to be a witness and missionary to the people of that land!

I've come to the realization though that the more difficult task and challenge lies closer to home. Ministering and witnessing to my family, friends and neighbors.

Poor, lonely and heartbroken people surround me, as well as those that are dying. I speak especially of those who are dying of spiritual poverty, poverty of the soul. They need Jesus. They need to SEE Jesus. How daunting is the notion that I am quite possibly the only Jesus someone will ever see. My actions and deeds, the only bible they may ever read.

Without a doubt I've been called to the mission field of "Calcutta".

I've just never thought that "Calcutta" could exist right outside my very own front door. What a revelation!

How about you dear friend, have you located Calcutta?

"They that be whole, need not a physician" Matthew 9:12

13 comments:

goodnightgram said...

What an inspiring post. Yes, I have found my Calcutta. I kiss her goodnight every night. It really is a ministry to tend to a child who has lost a mother. If I think of it that way, it influences my behavior to be as healing as possible.

Shirl said...

I attended a seminar by a woman who had spent a great deal of her time photographing Mother Teresa and her work. She brought up this point at the end of the presentation. I bought the book she had done. How inspired we should all be by the sacrifice and service this woman did!

Sonja said...

Oh boy Debra... this one is con-VIC-ting me! I do feel that way about my neighbor and those I come in contact with, but this calls me to more... go further and go deeper!

Wonderful words, and they challenge my heart!

Hugs!

Sonja

Colleen said...

Beautiful post. Yes, I have found my Calcutta. It is in my spiritual direction for the poor of spirit and it is in speaking out about child sexual abuse and comforting other survivors. It is amazing how God leads us to our own Calcutta. And Mother Teresa!! She just amazes me. Her story is so inspiring. God bless you Debra! Your post was inspiring too. Thanks for your visit to my blog earlier. I appreciate your comments a lot.

Stacey said...

I need to read that book. Until recently I didn't know much about Mother Theresa other than I love many of her quotes. Very convicting post, Debra!

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I think it is more difficult being a witness for Christ to our friends, neighbors and relatives than to witness and minister to strangers.

Even Jesus seem to have this problem.

Luke 4:24
Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.

Andrea said...

Debra, what a prolific post, my friend!!! I am glaring at my complacency, as I notice my reflection in my computer.

God calls us, but do we listen? And if we listen, what do we do with his words???

Yes, your words have reached down into my soul's core. I will contemplate them. And pray! God, please help me to be found faithful to my Calcutta! Lord, help me to tremble at your word!!!

Thank you, and blessings,

Andrea

Grayquill said...

A quick read through any US national magazine makes one think, it is time India sends the USA a few missionaries.
Mother Teresa is for sure still an inspiration!
Nice Post! and yes there are plenty of needs across the street or next door or behind my own door - I mean heart.

AngelMc said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. We have a lot in common. I'm a Christian, nurse, live in Mississippi, grandmother and a cancer survivor. Come over and visit me at my blog.

Maxine said...

Wow. You said quite a mouthful, Debra. I have been convicted all day long. Two preachers brought the whole matter of evangelism down hard on us today, and now you are saying much of the same. You are right, my Calcutta is right here where I live and among my family and friends.

Mimi said...

Hi to my dear friend Debra,
Your post today as always is so lovely and so heart touching.
I hope I have found MY Calcutta, here in my own little neighborhood and around my family and friends.
God will indeed use us whereever we are and YES< the only BIBLE most people will ever read, is you and I and a lot of other God loving Bible reading people, not perfect, far from it, do I make mistakes, YOU BETCHA, but God is so loving and forgives us and we can move on.
This little Light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. I wake up everyday and sing that to myself!!!!
have a Blessed week my dear sweet friend,
I Pray that God Blesses your Calcutta today and everyday and one day may a door open up for you to go to another very needful Calcutta!!!
hugs sweetie,
jamie

myletterstoemily said...

thank you, debra, for such an inspiring
missionary letter. and we don't even
have to ask for money!

They call me "Deb" said...

When I was a little girl, I wasn't sure why or when - but the label "Trailer-Park-Trash" was stuck to me. I thought I was like everyone else, but even the children in my Baptist church reminded me that I was not. The finger-pointing, the making me sit in the 'poor section', the making fun of my clothes, the causing me to feel segregated even in "God's House" made me dream of one day growing up and leaving that church to go far away to work with Mother Teresa. She wasn't like the overweight, new-and-fancy big car driving, always wanting more money, looking down their noses at and name-calling everyone else, elders and wives and young people of 'my' church. She was the only person I knew (from TV and Newspapers) in my young life who 'really' worked for the Lord.
It was only much, much later that I saw a little sign hanging over the exit of the door of a church of another denomination that read, "You Are Now Entering Your Mission Field - God in God's Grace". I realized like you, that to my neighborhood and community - I AM "Mother Teresa".
You have so inspired and encouraged me with this post. You have once again renewed that desire within me to let my community SEE Jesus in me.
Thank you so much.
Hugs,
Deb