Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mother Teresa can kick Sleeping Beauty's............

I have a confession.  I think Snow White is a weakling.  She ran around with dwarfs, didn't have any real girlfriends, and birds came and sat on her head when she sang.  The worst thing that happened to her was that she choked on a piece of apple.  And don't even get me started on Sleeping Beauty!  I will however throw a shout out to my girl Cinderella because at least she got her hands dirty and had a love for shoes. But I must admit, the whole concept of being a princess, wearing a tiara, and riding behind her prince on a white horse never really got to my heart.  I don't know if I am sad about that or glad.  Maybe a little bit more of a balance wouldn't be half-bad. 

I'm writing today because this powerful image has been rolling around in my head and heart for a couple of weeks now.  I was talking with a friend who was sharing with me that a few years ago his wife had been reading a popular book among Christian women that really focused on us being princesses.  I was laughing because he shared that his wife realized that she was getting a little agitated that she wasn't being treated like the princess that she was.  She soon realized what she was expecting and acknowledged it.  What is neat is that at the same time my friends wife was reading this book she was also reading the autobiography of Mother Teresa.  The suffering servant.  I won't go into lots of detail because I have encouraged my friend to have his wife write about what she realized when comparing the two books....I think she has a story to tell and that story isn't mine, but I will share a few thoughts as just the sharing of her experience was powerful to me.
You may not agree with everythign Mother Teresa stood for, but you cannot argue about how she laid down her life for the "least of these."  As my friend said to me, "She was a suffering servant."  She opened homes for orphanges, for those with HIV/Aids, leprosy, tuberculosis, and even hospice care where my friend Chris went and sat with those who were alone and dying.  Suffering servant.  I just keep thinking about how this is the Gospel, not my being in a castle far removed from suffering, but being IN IT WITH others.  If I have learned anything in the past five weeks of sitting with addicts and the mentally ill, it is this - we are not that different.  And while I want to wear a pretty dress, be pursued, and treated well, in my heart of hearts God has called us to be suffering servants.  This resonates deeply although it is not very popular.  It means saying "yes" to entering into the pain and yuck of your own life in order to enter the pain and yuck of someone else. To be the hands and feet of Jesus..........I can't even finish that sentence.
Don't hear me completely knocking the princess idea, because ofcourse there is some validity to it, but I think it is overdone and we don't teach one another the reality that this world will not treat you like a princess unless you are Kate Middleton and trust me, that will wear off as soon as she says something without thinking or decides to wear a cardigan from Target.  Anyway, we are suffering servants and if I have to be a princess then I want my own horse.