A Saint's Legacy

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
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Listen while you read: "Grace Greater Than Our Sin"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 25:40 – The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." (NIV 2011)

Recently, I attended a beautiful memorial service for Pastor Tom, a Baptist pastor who had a ministry to marginalized people living with addictions or untreated mental illness, or in poverty, in the city of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The large sanctuary was full, as people from churches across the city came together to pay tribute to the man known as the Mother Teresa of Victoria. His three children spoke very movingly of his life and example, saying what a humble, loving, and faithful servant he was. The tools of his trade were tracts, a pack of cigarettes, and a wad of five-dollar bills. His goal was to connect with everyone he met and show them the love of Christ. His son told of how his father had actually once met Mother Teresa on a plane, and had had a chance to talk with her about their mutual calling to serve as followers of Christ.

Just before the service began, a tiny Aboriginal woman slipped in and sat beside me. She wept throughout the service, using up the entire box of Kleenex kept in the pew. I tried to comfort her, and asked what Pastor Tom had meant to her. "He reminded me of my father," she said. "I always looked for him. Pastor Tom would be so proud of me. I am 19 days sober." She said that she had lost her jacket with her identification in it, but she decided that it was more important for her to be at the service than to look for her jacket. She was obviously a very gentle soul who had had a tough life. She told me that she came from a family with a lot of dysfunction, where her father had abused her mother. Her love for Pastor Tom was evident in how she said his name — with a smile on her face and a longing in her voice. At the end of the service, we chatted a bit, and I told her that it was an honour to sit beside her. I asked what her name was. "Teresa," she said. I asked her if I could give her five dollars for Pastor Tom. She accepted it gratefully and slipped it into her pocket.

Just as Pastor Tom was inspired by his encounter with Mother Teresa, I was inspired by this Teresa, who might be considered as one of the least of these. She had been shown the love of Christ by Pastor Tom, and Pastor Tom had done it for Jesus, just as we are told to do. The heartfelt tears being shed right before my eyes were a powerful testimony of this outpouring of love, the inspirational legacy of the love of a follower of Jesus.

And Jesus said, "Go and do likewise"! (Luke 10:37b NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your faithful people who serve the least of these and radiate Your love to those around them. It is not easy to have this kind of ministry, so please help us to go and do likewise. Amen.

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About the author:

Helen Morrison <hmorriso@gmail.com>
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

    Wonderful story and a great challenge Helen.

    Amen and Amen

    What a beautiful devotional. Enjoyed it very much.
    Thank you.

    Such a touching message. I read it with tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring testimony to a life well lived for the Lord. Blessings.

    Thank you, Helen, for telling us this touching story. Indeed, may we go and do likewise.

    Great sharing. If only the ‘news’ would share more of the good news, as there is far more good than evil in the world, but you’d never know it from watching the nightly news!

    Good morning Helen,
    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring experience and crafting it in a way that invites listeners to truly experience Jesus’ call to care for the “least of these.”
    Blessings and Peace.

    Thank you so much for a wonderful devotional today. There is so much negativity towards Christians and churches these days that it was so nice to read such a lovely tribute to Pastor Tom, and hear about Christianity in it’s truest form. I really needed to read this today, and I thank you for sharing it!

    Good Morning Helen:
    What a beautiful Devotional. Pastor Tom was indeed a true servant of the living God, loving and serving those who many it would find hard to love and serve.
    I know the Lord will honor Him for the work he did in His name. It’s amazing, how often, one little man can make such a difference in an entire city, Victoria will miss him.

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing.

    Thank you for your story, Helen. Keep writing.

    Thank you, Helen, for your Special Devotional.
    Every Blessing on your day.

    Dear Helen,
    Please help us to go and do likewise.
    I’m wondering if persons like this lady you sat with might need a personal touch of love rather than a handout. We are often afraid of saying, “How might I help you to find your jacket?”
    Might we, offer to drive someone to a the store? (Possibly we should not do it alone in some circumstances.) Something that takes a might more time could give us a chance to speak the gospel of the love and personal sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the lonely person. They so desperately need such a relationship.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you for sharing this inspirational devotional. May it motivate all who read it to continue to reach out to those in need … need of companionship, a listening ear, a helping hand, a visit, a drive … we can show the need for our Lord in all of this. May Jesus shine through life’s darkness and bring us His Light.

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