Malcolm Muggeridge was a great English writer who became a committed Christian later in life. He tells the story that he became Christian because of the life, the presence, and the ministry of Mother Teresa. He wrote a book about Mother Teresa entitled Something Beautiful for God. In that book he tells about the time when he first met her and visited Calcutta in the late 1930′s. This is what he said. “I walked through the streets of the poverty of that city, poverty beyond belief. I kept walking, experiencing that until I became physically ill. I ran away, I went back to my comfortable hotel room and took a stiff shot of whiskey to expiate the wretchedness of my experience.”
Later he discovered Mother Teresa walked the same streets and went into the same places he visited some years before. He said, “The difference — I ran away, but Mother Teresa crossed the line. She stayed, and healing took place.” He saw that her compassion for others came from a source that eluded him. To his surprise that source was her faith in Christ and His ability to change the heart of any man. With that realization he came to a transformative experience with Christ.
Many of us are professing Christians who are missing something. The missing link in the walk of many who profess Christ is a true compassion for the unlovable. Our western society is not compassionate by nature, but Jesus is. He sets the bar of compassion by eating with sinners, touching the untouchable, healing the outcast, and most importantly, giving Himself for the sins of all humankind. We can all learn from Muggeridge’ s experience and see life through that lens of compassion. When we do, things become so much more beautiful.