Words from Colleen

Yesterday, Saturday, was basically a day of travel, from Jacmel back to Port au Prince, which left plenty of time for my mind to wonder. But my mind was completely stuck on our day at the Mother Teresa hospital for the Destitute and Dying. After two days spent with the boys at Trinity House, my heart was still at that hospital. Here are my thoughts:

In devotion the night after we went to the Mother Teresa hospital we talked a lot about vulnerability. The space between our vulnerability and the vulnerability of those we were with at the hospital. I thought a lot about the volunerabilty conveyed by the position that I was in at the hospital. I spent most of the morning at the hospital on my knees massaging women’s legs and feet and paining toenails. This stance, which is often considered degrading, left me completely vulnerable. But instead, I felt empowered. But this sense of empowerment seriously made me question myself. Was I striving to be like Jesus when he washed the disciples’ feet? Did I want recognition for kneeling on a floor that I had seen people vomit on, spill food on, and eat off of? Was I doing something because I wanted recognition? Because it was what I was supposed to do? Or because I wanted to serve people? Did I do it to avoid eye contact or because it is easier not to speak to someone when you are at their feet instead of looking at them face to face? Did I do it to assume some of the vulnerability that I knew these women felt as they removed their shirts and exposed themselves to a complete stranger to be messaged fully? Or perhaps I was kneeling at the feet Jesus to learn and to serve?

I can tell you straight off that I was not consciously kneeling at the feet of my Lord at the Mother Teresa hospital. But I knelt there and was reminded of Christ’s presence within each one of us. And as Mother Teresa reminded us through her life, her words, and her actions: it is in times and places like this, in befriending those on the margins, that we truly come face to face with God. Whether it is the crying baby or the ailing aged who may not make it through the weekend, they are worthy and deserving of love. It is never wasted on them regardless of the time they have left.

Lord, I thank you for the love I have received throughout my life – for my parents, sisters, relationship, and the countless friends that you have made my family. I am blessed beyond measure. And all I can pray right now is that I extend that blessing to others regardless of situation, place, status, or the difficulty that it stirs within me.

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