Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Small Package - Big Message

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.  Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way.  Turn away and keep moving.  For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day.  They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.  They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!  Proverbs 4:14-17(NLT)
If your father is the wisest man in the universe, and he tells you “don’t even think about it…keep moving” – well, it pays to heed the advice.  Solomon characterized the two ends of the spectrum of human character – the low end goes to evil continually, eating the food of wickedness and drinking the wine of violence.  The other, higher end of human character is that which aspires to Godly kindness.   Solomon told his son to watch out for the wicked…just turn and keep moving! 
Mother Teresa of Calcutta made a lifetime of doing that.  In 1979 this humble sister of the Roman Catholic Order of the Missionaries of Charity received the Nobel Peace Prize for her worldwide orphanage work based in Calcutta.
She was born in Skopje, a little town that is part of Kosovo, the scene of much violence and human brokenness.  It would have been quite normal (and much easier) to sit with violence and wickedness, but Teresa walked the different, higher pathway, touching the lives of millions with the love of Christ.
Physically she was only 5’ tall, but it would be wrong to characterize this physically-diminutive woman as tiny in character or courage; she had the heart of a lion. 
In 1988 she received an honorary degree from the University of San Diego and used her address to the crowd of 6,000 admirers like Solomon counselling his son about good and evil.  Here’s what she said:
"Abortion has become the greatest destroyer of peace, because it destroys two lives, the life of the child and the conscience of the mother," she said. " . . . Let us thank our parents for wanting us, for loving us, for giving us the joy of living. . . . You are priceless to God himself."
In her address, Mother Teresa also recited an anecdote to illustrate that every person, whether rich or poor, is significant in the eyes of God.
She talked about a desperate father who arrived at her mission with his only son, who was sick and dying. The doctor had given the child a prescription, but the father could not afford to purchase the medicine. As she was talking to the father, another man walked in with a basket full of medications. At the top of the pile was the medicine needed by the child.
Even with "millions and millions and millions of children in the world," God was still concerned with "that little child in the slums of Calcutta," said Mother Teresa.[2]
Remember that Mother Teresa was speaking to a graduating college crowd at the end of the 20th century, and she was doing so in California, to privileged young people steeped in the wine of personal privilege and rights, only a decade after Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal.  She was being honored, and could have basked in the sunshine of the moment; she chose to speak truth against the tide of cultural power!
Small woman; big message!

For You Today

As you move about in this world, keep it in focus that Solomon never told his son to ignore evil; he told him to turn from it.  That means move in the other direction, but it doesn’t mean take your eyes off it. 
Like another wise man said:  Be harmless as doves and wise as serpents![3]
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[1] Title Image:  By Martin-loewenstein Ölbild von Żaba, Hamburg 2010, via Wikimedia Commons

[2] H.G. REZA, Mother Teresa Calls Abortion Greatest Threat to Peace, (L.A. Times, June 01, 1988)|

[3] Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:16

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