Free-lance writer, Shane Claiborne, who spent a summer in the poorest section of Calcutta, India with Mother Teresa wrote about his once-in-a- lifetime experience with the saint.
“People would often ask me what Mother Teresa was like. Did she glow in the dark or have a halo? I would tell them that she was short, wrinkled and precious, maybe a little ornery like a beautiful wise old granny.
But there is one thing I will never forget and that was her feet. They were deformed. Each morning during Mass, I would stare at those feet. I wondered if Mother Teresa had leprosy. Of course, I wasn’t going to ask.
One day a sister asked a group of us, ‘Have you noticed Mother’s feet?’ We nodded. She said, “Her feet are deformed because we get just enough donated shoes for everyone and Mother does not want anyone to get stuck with the worst pairs, so she digs through and finds those. Years of wearing bad shoes have deformed her feet.’ That was typical Mother Teresa and that was what made her great. She placed the needs of others above her own.”
This week the sermon will be on the text in Luke 10:25-37. It is one of the most familiar of Jesus’ parables. It is known as “the Good Samaritan Story.” Mother Teresa, in my mind, was a Good Samaritan. All were her neighbors, especially those who were sick and dying with leprosy, and seen as unclean outcasts in the community. She was willing to do what it took to show care and compassion to make a Kingdom of God difference in their lives.
It is my hope you will join us in worship on Sunday to hear this parable in a way that challenges us to think more broadly upon the story. There are several approaches we can take in speaking to this text. I even encourage you to read through the parable before you arrive on Sunday. Where are you in the story? How would you respond to “who is my neighbor?” How have you been a “good Samaritan?” I look forward to sharing more with you on Sunday!