I read a story recently about Mother Theresa that I would like to share with you. It's from a book called 'Irrisistible Revolution' by Shane Claiborne. Claiborne spent a summer in Calcutta with Mother Theresa and this is what he writes, "Mother Theresa was one of those people who sacrificed great privilege because she encountered such great need. People often ask me what Mother Theresa was like. Sometimes it's like they wonder if she glowed in the dark or had a halo. She is short, wrinkled, and precious, maybe even a little bit ornery, like a beautiful, wise old granny. But there is one thing I will never forget - her feet. Her feet were deformed. Each morning in Mass, I would stare at them. I wondered if she had contracted leprosy. But I wasn't going to ask, of course. "Hey Mother, what's wrong with your feet?" One day a sister said to us, "Have you noticed her feet?" We nodded, curious. 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 pair, so she digs through and finds them. And years of doing that have deformed her feet." Years of loving her neighbor as herself deformed her feet."
This story impacted me in two ways. First, that my castoffs, the things that I give away out of my abundance can end up deforming some one's feet. Second, that Mother Theresa didn't want someone else to suffer so she suffered in their place, out of love. I ask myself again why I give "the crumbs from my table", to quote Bono again, when the poor deserve dignity, respect and the best of everything, just like I do. The poor don't need to become like us (we don't need to be like us either, if you really thing about it), but they do need to be taken care of, known, suffered with, and fought for.