I find our God in helping others. One such occasion was a cold morning when I worked with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity on the streets of Calcutta or Kolkata as it is known now. I went to Sealdah Railway Station to reserve my ticket for a short holiday in Darjeeling, to trace the journey of Mother Teresa’s beginnings. It was cold, foggy weather which was unusual for Calcutta. My rickshaw taxi dropped me near the station and I tried to go inside to the ticket counter.
Suddenly, I saw a middle aged woman lying on the ground at the entrance of the men’s toilet, trying to get relief from the cold with a torn blanket. She was suffering from leprosy—the fingers of her hands were falling off and one of her feet was also falling off and hanging by its sinews. She was trembling from the cold, trying to cover her body with the torn blanket so that no one would see her deformity, but she failed every time to do it. She wished for someone to come and help her. So many people crossed by there, seeing the scene, but, no one helped. I forgot all about the cold and whispered to myself, “God, why are you giving so much pain to this beautiful woman? Why are you not helping her?”
Then I suddenly realised that God sent me to help this person and I quickly ran to help her cover her body. She was barely able to whisper the words, “Thank you”, I flagged down a taxi and the driver, seeing the predicament, sped through the streets of Calcutta waving a red flag or handkerchief out the side window of his car so that we could get to Mother Teresa’s Kailghat Home, also known as the House of the Dying.
During our journey from Sealdah Railway Station to the House of the Dying, I found out that the woman’s name was Mara Nivad-Davy. On that journey, she told me her life’s story, a story of abject poverty and horror. By the end of the taxi journey, I didn’t know whether it was me helping her or her helping me in the way she was profoundly thankful for me being there in her hour of need.
I carried her from the taxi, among the throng of people on the streets of Calcutta, into the House of the Dying. I cleared a spot for her on one of the beds. I was standing near her feet and as the Mother Teresa Sisters cleaned her and cared for her, I couldn’t help notice or stop looking at the fact that half her left foot was missing. It had been completely eaten away by maggots and as we cleaned it many more maggots were taken out. The bones were sticking out of her foot and some of these had even been worn away because Mara had used her foot to drag herself along because she couldn’t walk. The foot, was eventually amputated that day and Mara died a few days later, surrounded by much love and prayers from myself and a friend of mine, Eamon, and many of the Mother Teresa Sisters present in Kailghat.
It might not be a big thing for everybody, but it changed me a lot. God gave me the dream to help the poor and those in need in our community and in our world. I realised that a dream is one thing, but trying to achieve it is another thing altogether. From that day, I promised myself, whatever it may take, I will help lots of people to live in a caring, equal and loving world. I am still doing my best to try and do that but I need help. I need your help. At the end of the day we all need one another’s help. Sure isn’t that what life is all about!
I find God all the time, especially when I am helping others in need. If you see anybody who requires help, don’t just pass by. Try to give help to them. Maybe God sent you to help them. Maybe, that’s where you find God, in truly helping others, not just in words but in genuine loving and caring action!
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week, try to give help to anybody who requires it, don’t just pass by. Maybe God sent you to help them!