Oh….I have had some serious thoughts bouncing around in my head all week…and I might just burst if I don’t get them out…so first off I need to unload some ponderings on you.
Somewhere in the sermon last Sunday, our pastor talked about Mother Teresa’s published letters expressing her deep doubts about her faith. I thought this was a recent story, but it is actually from 2007. A news clip was shown on the screen Sunday that just kind of knocked me for a loop.
Apparently, according to letters sent to friends and spiritual leaders, she expresses a sense of complete loss of knowing the presence of God. Some state that she felt like a hypocrite because after she received her call she did not know, what I would describe as, that communion with God that keeps the embers of our faith growing.
The intense struggle seems to have lasted for the entire time of her ministry in Calcutta.
And I have to tell you…for some reason this has thrown me. Deeply.
Mother Teresa…who got up every day in the slums and tended the poorest of the poor. Who did the very thing we are supposed to be doing because she believed she was called by God…and then …. nothing? No word…no still small voice…this is hard.
And me. Who has to muster her soul just to get through a day in middle class America without wandering off the path? And He comes through every time?
So I have gathered a few thoughts..and as one dear friend tells me, since I do have the gift of saying what we are all thinking but everyone else filters….here they are.
As always … in no particular order….
- Why on earth would people who loved this little lady not honor her dying wish that the letters be destroyed?
- If anyone picked up my journals and read, they would find some alarming words. Raw and honest. They would find places of deep doubt and harsh rants and hard question. They would find teaching revealed and aha! moments. But the most private thoughts of worship…those were lifted only to God Himself. Too sacred for pen and paper. So I hold a hope that there were such moments for her that sustained her to carry on.
- Depression and hopelessness did not defeat her from answering God’s call on her life.
- Her story does certainly put concrete footings under the pithy line we often say…We walk by faith, not feelings…because apparently there are times when we will have NO feeling of faith…so in those times…walk on
- When we look to Scripture we can see examples of prophets who also did great things for God, fulfilled their callings and yet felt abandoned by Him.
- We can look at Psalm 22, where David writes of feeling deeply forsaken by God.
- We can also know that this Psalm, that is an anthem of abandonment by the Father, is a Messianic Psalm and is actually speaking the words of Christ on the Cross.
- I would imagine that working, as she did, every day in the midst of such heart wrenching poverty and disease would test the limits of one’s faith.
- I think of all the times I, as well as others, have used the expression “Well, I’m not Mother Teresa” to excuse our lack of faith to act in obedience to a call from God….ouch
- I would like to read the letters of encouragement, and the prayers that were prayed over her by those who received those letters.
- Our faith can never be anchored on the faith or lack of faith of others no matter how godly and amazingly and wonderfully they may be serving
So there you go…absolutely nothing resolved…just thoughts I am struggling with.
And I can’t leave you on Friday with such weighty sharing and so in a complete shift to hopefully make you smile….
hit up the pumpkin patch…
did boy stuff…
and were careful to observe the helpful guidelines…
All in all….