Becoming Holy

Walking the Walk

on February 5, 2013

71433_132757083559403_903813870_nI love the phrase, “Can you walk the walk?”  That is, until I was challenged by this image this morning!  The sight of Mother Teresa’s misshapen, sandal-clad foot gave me pause.  Wow!  Not only did Mother Teresa walk in the footsteps of Christ, she did it wearing very poor footwear.  I immediately thought of my morning walk and the fact that I stopped THREE times before meeting up with my walking partner to adjust my shoes.  First, I had to loosen the laces, then, tighten them, then loosen them one more time.  Heaven forbid I would experience DISCOMFORT!  Nothing like a little dose of Mother Teresa to heighten my awareness.  Of course, this caused me to reflect on the pedicures I have had through the years, the attention I pay to my shoes, socks, style, fit.  I’m not even a “shoe person” but I certainly focus on the comfort of my feet more than I care to confess!

Mother Teresa’s feet speak a lot about her as a person.  She did not choose the best for herself~she purposefully chose the worst, that someone else might have better.  This is something hard to comprehend in a society obsessed with how things make one feel.  How many times do we ask ourselves, “What’s in it for me?”  We are surrounded by advertisements offering the smoothest beer, the tastiest chips, the classiest car, the newest technology.  There aren’t too many commercials saying, “Try these shoes.  They are going to hurt and mangle your feet. Just do it.”  My apologies to Nike.

I don’t think that we need to embrace Mother Teresa’s specific sacrifice of choosing shoes that don’t fit~that’s not the purpose of this reflection.  It seems what is required is embracing her servant’s heart, her openness to being last, her willingness to suffer for others, and in so doing, to suffer for Christ.  I witnessed this time and again from my own mom~the little things~having the sandwich made from the heels of bread, being the last person served at the dinner table, going without dessert.  I witness this in my mother-in-law~always waiting until the end to fill her plate, serving everyone else before sitting down to enjoy her meal~again, waiting to be last.  

Whether one is a parent or a child, a student or a teacher, there are opportunities for us every day to exercise having a servant’s heart. We can choose to go out in the cold to start the car, get the mail or bring out the trash.  We can help prepare a meal and wait to be served.  We can help others with their projects before working on our own.  We can also be first to say we are sorry, first to reconcile with family, first to reach out to someone who is suffering.  It is good to reflect on the life of Mother Teresa~to look at her feet, but more importantly, her heart as she walked in the footsteps of Jesus.  It is even better to use our reflection and put our thoughts in motion~walking the walk!

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