When you step foot into Mother Theresa’s chapel of the Missionaries of Charity, you’ll find no pews to sit in. No chairs or kneelers. The walls don’t have stained-glass windows. The ceilings don’t have fancy florescent lighting either. You probably won’t even see a pulpit. What will catch your eye is a simple crucifix with two words next to it in bold black letters stating—
For Mother Theresa, you see, these words were the heartbeat of her entire life’s work. They framed her choices, established her purpose. She understood that when Jesus spoke—“I thirst”—as He hung on the cross in John 19:28 (ESV), He meant something deeply profound by it. “I thirst” wasn’t only one dying man’s cry for water. It also wasn’t only God’s expression of longing for all people everywhere to come to know Him. At an even deeper level than that, Jesus’ words were a mandate for believers. Jesus wants us to choose to thirst too by opening our spiritual eyes to see the lost, hurting and broken people around us and bring them to Him.
Just as Mother Theresa did.
When you walk into church on a Sunday morning, what catches your eye most? Are you distracted by all that’s going on or are you there so that God can fill and quench you? Could it be, you’re also there to get more thirsty? It’s a sobering question. And I’m not sure how I would honestly answer it. But I do know I don’t want to have a one-sided relationship with Jesus. I don’t want to take and never give in return. I want to thirst for others the way Jesus thirsts. And I want my thirst to drive me to action. I hope you do as well.
*Originally published The Joyful Life Magazine.