“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

Mother Teresa often gave this challenge: “Now let us do something beautiful for God.” Malcolm Muggeridge received that challenge in a letter from her, and his response was, “I found the phrase enchanting, with a sparkle and gaiety very characteristic of her. Doing something beautiful for God is, for Mother Teresa, what life is about. Everything becomes beautiful. Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity provide a living witness to the power and truth of what Jesus came to proclaim. His light shines in them. When I think of them in Calcutta, it is not the bare house in a dark slum conjured up in mind, but a light shining and joy abounding.” Muggeridge later named his documentary and book about Mother Teresa “Something Beautiful for God.” How did she maintain that beautiful spirit and how did she accomplish so much that she won the Nobel Peace Prize? “Very often I would feel like a little pencil in God’s hand,” she said. “He does the writing; he does the thinking; he does the movement—I have only to be a pencil and nothing else.” A pencil. Just a little pencil. We see in the illustration her humility and her trust in the hand that moved her and that acted through her. When we are little pencils in God’s hands, we see His work in our circumstances. Mother Teresa points to the Gospel of John and asks us to see how many times Jesus used the word “Father.” As Jesus totally and lovingly trusted His Father, so must we. “I must give myself completely to Him,” she says “We surrender even our sins. We need humility to acknowledge our sin. The knowledge of our sin helps us to rise.” When we see ourselves like the Prodigal Son in Jesus’ parable, we continually get up to go to the Father. “We are at his disposal,” Mother Teresa emphasizes. “We must say, ‘I belong to you. you can do whatever you like.’ This is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord.”

Adapted from “The One Year Book of Encouragement”