Sometimes I think Mother Teresa had it easy.
Well, not really ... but in one way she did.
As she walked the streets of Calcutta, the pain and suffering were obvious. Dirty, broken, thrown-away people lying in the gutter. They were everywhere, and their bruises and sores were there for all to see.
It is more difficult in many places in America. Yes, there are those people whose pain is readily evident on the outside, if we are willing to go where they are. As one of my favorite songwriters wrote, “Will you go down to the bridge by the river and meet all the folks who call it home.” And if we are looking, we will see the beggars and thrown-away people on our streets.
But most of the hurting, broken people in our society, in our community, keep their bruises hidden. Their pain is not so easy to see. Many surround their lives with enough stuff - houses and cars and toys - to hide who they really are.
So I have just decided to believe - and try to act as if - everyone whom I meet is just as broken and bruised and cut and battered and sad and lonely and hurt and anxious and afraid and in need of love as I sometimes feel. I have decided to see them as they might look if their pain was clearly obvious on the outside. Because if we could see clearly, I believe we would see that the only explanation for all of the weird, strange, irrational, hurtful behaviors we see around us every day is that most of the people we meet are in a great deal of pain.
Lord, help me to see people the way you see them.
Sometimes, I think Mother Teresa had it easy.