Two lives to imitate

My grandmother Sabina was a saint that I had the privilege to meet personally. She had no birth certificate, but went to school long enough to learn how to read well. She read her Bible daily and never missed a Sunday mass. She was kind and gentle, yet never missed an opportunity to teach us something to build our character, like the time my sister, my cousins, and I stole fruit from the neighbors. She only had to look at us when we got home to know we’d been up to mischief. After we admitted what we’d done, she had us go back and apologize.

She was the only person that I had to ask for a blessing and kiss her hand when saluting, according to the old custom, but I felt the magic when she’d answer: “God bless you, my little daughter!” She was small and frail, but her 8 children and 14 grandchildren all loved her and looked up to her. My father said that she’d lived her entire life for her family and he’d never heard a complaint from her mouth. She was a great woman who influenced many in her own way, myself included.

She reminds me of another great little person, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I recently saw the biographic movie The Letters of Mother Teresa. It portrays her humble beginnings with the poor, and how some of her rich high school students decided to give their lives to Jesus due to her example. It also tells of her sufferings and even of her critics, people that wanted to stop her good work.

Her example of love will live on forever and keep influencing many people for generations to come. Even though she didn’t have children like my grandmother, she gave her life to the children of God. Her motto was: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”1 She saw Jesus in everyone she helped. Helping others was her way to thank Jesus for what He had done for her through His teachings and death on the cross. Her example of love will live on forever and keep influencing many people for many generations to come.

Why aren’t there more Mother Teresas? I guess people don’t understand the depth of the love of God for humankind as well as she did. I am still learning about it. As the old hymn says: “Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heaven above; deep, deep as the deepest sea is my Savior’s love.”2

  1. Matthew 25:40 NIV
  2. Charles A. Miles, 1914