In a way that might have been unthinkable to many Evangelicals of a previous generation, Bill Hybels led us the final session of the Leadership Summit to examine the life and leadership of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom he described as the most influential woman on earth. Her drew heavily on Come, be my Light, a collection of spritual writings and diaries that went paperback in the UK this week.
When first published some secularist reviewers took Mother Teresa’s radically honest, realistic account of faith and doubt as a promising revelation of unbelief. All it actually indicated was their inability to understand “faith” in anything but shallow and obvious terms. In fact, Mother Teresa’s book is becoming a source of inspiration and hope to Christians the world over.
We walked through her early story and serious sense of call — someone who had few obvious attributes to offer, but believed that if God had given all of himself, she could not answer with less than all of herself. From daily exercise of disciplines she called “little practices” emerged a radical calling, relentlessly pursued. So she walked through various obstacles placed in her way by ecclesiastical authorities sometimes, as much as by the magnitude of the task.
Living in a society where feelings and rewards are often pursued as paramount, and people feel aggrieved over minor frustrations, there was inspiration in her faith: “even though I do not feel his presence for long periods of time, I will seek to love him as he has never been loved.”