Even if you don't see eye-to-eye with Mother Teresa of Calcutta on everything, you have to admit that she was one amazing woman. I look at her pictures and I see a beautiful woman. Can you imagine what it would be like...
To see her with your own eyes?
To hear her voice saying your name?
To see her fragile, yet powerful hands touching those whom the world had forsaken?
I try to put myself there in my mind, but I can’t come close to being able to imagine an experience like this. It would be an honor that nothing could ever make you forget, right? Now imagine that you could ask this one-of-a-kind woman who walked with her Jesus in such an authentic way anything, knowing that she would share her wisdom and counsel with you. What would YOU ask Mother Teresa?
I might ask:
"How did you come to know the Savior?"
“What made you choose this part of the world?”
“Has it all been worth it?”
“What keeps you going when discouragement is high?”
Most of us can only try to imagine such an encounter with this icon of the past century. Now, imagine getting to do this not once, but on at least three different occasions…
This was the experience that Dr. Lori Salierno had the privilege to realize when she was still a very young woman. God was already giving her influence as a communicator that few get to enjoy in their lifetime, much less while still so young. Those of us who know Lori and who have had the opportunity to sit under her teaching know that she is a woman with an insatiable hunger for God and for others to know Him well. She is the founder and CEO of Celebrate Life International, an organization with a vision to reach and mentor at-risk students all over the world. Lori is also the Founder and Lead Speaker for the WILD Women of God Conference which trains and mentors young women.
As Lori looked for women to mentor her in those early days of ministry, her greatest desire was to meet and be mentored by Mother Teresa. Talk about dreaming big!! It took years, lots of requests, incredible persistence, patience, speaking wherever she could for whatever she could get paid, and refusing to give up at the first, second, third….signs of opposition to finally get on a plane to India to work with, walk beside, and serve among Mother Teresa and the Sisters of Charity. I am still amazed that she got this chance at all, much less three times! I’ll never forget being in Lori’s home and reading a framed, handwritten letter to Lori and then realizing that this letter was from Mother Teresa herself. What a treasure!
So, with this in mind, are you curious to know what advice Mother Teresa offered Lori when she earnestly sought it? After several years of persistence and all that it took to make this opportunity turn the corner from dream to reality, Lori had her shot—to ask Mother Teresa herself for her words of wisdom. Lori has shared on numerous occasions that as she asked Mother Teresa how she could make the biggest impact on her generation and even those to come, Mother Teresa offered her some very sage, completely biblical, and rather simple advice:
“Find a dark place and be a light there.”
Can it really be that simple? I think it can. I think it is. But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy, does it? How many of us would agree, though, that the greatest fulfillment comes not from what is easiest but from what is best?
What might happen if…
What could happen if…
What will happen when…
Those of us who claim the Name of Christ begin to live our lives with the understanding and conviction that it is Christ in us who empowers us to let His light shine through our everyday lives...with intentionality....on purpose?
As we begin our farewells to 2011 and look forward to 2012, what dark place exists in your world? In your community? In your own neighborhood?
How can you be a light in that place?
As Church4Chicks gears up for our next series, "Shine!" we are anticipating that we will not only hear what God's Word has to say about letting our lights shine, but also following through with obedience as He gives us opportunities to do just that!
If possible, join us in person for our Winter Series which begins Jan. 10 at Town Center Community Church in Northeast Cobb.