In case we hadn’t guessed before, Mother Teresa had doubts about her faith. There’s a big hullabaloo out there on the internet and, while I’m not surprised by it, I’m saddened. It’s strange how we view doubts in our world. It’s strange that having a doubt means a person doesn’t believe. It doesn’t make sense to me.
What do you know for sure? Not a whole lot. Mathematical truth, maybe, at least until you get into higher mathematics, when even that seems to be an approximation or at least capable of contradiction. We don’t know anything for sure. We choose to act as if we believe a whole lot this way.
Mother Teresa’s honesty in these letters is actually refreshing. When you combine it with the fact that she kept at it–she kept serving the poor, helpless people in Calcutta as if they were Jesus–the letters mean something deeper than most of what we hear today.
You don’t have to feel like you believe to believe. You don’t have to feel like Jesus is walking next to you holding your hand, or holding you when you cry, or even answering your doubts to live for him. You only have to act. It seems like, much to many people’s dismay, there were many mornings when Mother Teresa woke up and wondered where Jesus was. But she didn’t just hang around, waiting. She didn’t decide that she couldn’t love people because she didn’t feel him. She did it anyway, and so showed Jesus to so many who were hurting.
I’m inspired by these letters–inspired to love people better. Inspired to be honest about what I feel, but also to live beyond my feelings. Inspired to take what I have, even when it’s not exactly what I want, and move forward in Jesus’ name, confident that he will be there when I need him, that he will move and reveal himself through me, even when I can’t see or feel what is going on.