When I did youth work, I would often ask the kids a simple question, “If you could eat dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?” It always was amazing the answers I would hear. Some would be serious, while others would try to make a joke. Some kids would want to eat with an actor, actress or sports figure. There would also be those who would want to eat with a family member or close friend who had passed away. When I was asked the question, more often than not, my answer was a person who became a nun because she thought she was too ugly for anyone to marry. Can you imagine that? Mother Teresa became a nun, not because of some deep spiritual reason but because she saw herself as ugly.
Maybe that is the reason why Malcolm Muggeridge decided to produce a documentary about her and chose to title it, “Something Beautiful for God.” The story behind the filming of the documentary is the best. At Mother Teresa’s insistence, the only light that could be used for filming was whatever light was available. This drove the film crew crazy as they tried to shoot the film in rooms that were too dark. But when they began the editing process, they discovered that the finished film was bathed in a beautiful soft light. Muggeridge determined that it must have been a “halo of love” that filled the rooms of that hospice.
Years later, when she was talking at the National Prayer Breakfast, she shared what she thought the greatest thing about her life was: “I have been able to be a tiny pencil in the hand of God, someone through whom God writes love letters to the world.” And if you were to watch the documentary or read Muggeridge’s book, you would understand that she was about to write those love letters to the world because she chose to live a life of generosity. She gave herself away…
I guess that is why I would want to eat dinner with her. I would like to experience that halo of love that radiated from this woman. I would love to sit in her presence so I could witness a person who saw herself too ugly to ever be married but made her life something beautiful for God. Alert all, I would consider my life pretty “successful” if someone could stand up at my funeral and simply say that I lived a generous life and I made something beautiful for God.
What about you?