"The Value of One"
“When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” — Matthew 25:38–40
When Mother Teresa started her very uncomfortable mission to care for marginalized people in Calcutta, India, she prioritized her ministry to the dying, the lepers, the sick, and the extremely poor. She was often criticized, however, for not being effective. To some of her critics who argued that the government could do a better job, her response was: God required her to do small things with great love, and Christian love is for “one” person.
By doing good and quietly serving people one by one, Mother Teresa effectively silenced her misguided critics.
Herein lies the beauty of our Christian worldview: Each human being is created in the image of God and is thus inherently dignified and valuable. This belief was the key underpinning of Mother Teresa’s inspiring ministry. It moves people around us when we can recognize the value of one and serve that person accordingly, even if it is “one of the least.”
It’s tempting to feel discouraged or inadequate when looking at a big number—such as 300,000 Chinese students studying in the United States, or 1.4 billion people in China. But the sure way to reach the group is by reaching them one by one, one at a time.
Obviously, God does not expect me to be able to make disciples of all nations, but he does expect me to “do my part” in reaching the nations. There lies my call and responsibility. Are we willing to do our parts? Are we willing to do small things with great love.