I’m sure you’ve come across at least one person who made a huge difference in your life either through their words, their actions or simply their being. The last week has been a very emotionally charged one for me and it got me thinking of people who’ve made an impact on my life. I’m not even sure they know about it. Most of us go through life lighting lamps in the lives of others without even realizing it.
Let me share how our simple acts can bring change and light via this beautiful story.
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.”
He kept saying, “I’m alright, I’m alright.”
”But you will be more alright if you allow me to do it.”
Then he allowed me, and at the end, he pulled from his pocket a little old photograph of his father. I said, “You are so like your father.” He was overjoyed. I blessed the photo, gave it to him, and it went back into the pocket near his heart.
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.”
– adapted from Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light
Can you recall with gratitude all those who lit a lamp in your life? Are you lighting lamps in the lives of others?
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