Come Be My Light
The following story is adapted from Mother Teresa’s writings, Come Be My Light about her visit to Bourke, a town in the north-west of New South Wales, Australia.
We went to the outskirts of Bourke, where all the Aborigines were living in those little small shacks made of tin and old cardboard. I entered one of those little rooms and told the man living there, “Please allow me to make your bed, wash your clothes, to clean your room.” After I cleaned the room I found in the corner a big lamp, full of dirt. I said, “Don’t you light this lamp, such a beautiful lamp?” He replied, “For whom? Months and months nobody has ever come to me. For whom will I light it?”
So I said, “Won’t you light it if the Sisters come to you?” And he said, “Yes.”
So the Sisters started going to visit him for only about 5 to 10 minutes a day. They started lighting that lamp. After some time the man got into the habit of lighting the lamp himself. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the Sisters stopped going to his shack (although they used to go every morning). I forgot completely about my first visit, and then after two years he sent word, “Tell Mother, my friend, the light she lit in my life is still burning.”
In each of us there comes a day when our lights may dim. However, there are also times when a simple act of kindness re-kindles the light in us again.
So today, is there someone we can offer hope to? Can we be the one to light even a small flame in ourselves, in another, in the world today?