"Love until it hurts...What I can do you cannot do; but what
you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us,
including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small
things, with great Love, and together we can
do something wonderful."
The Mission of Light, India 2004 trip was a journey of the heart and soul for the eleven chiropracTORS and volunteers that chose to go. This week in early February was a time of connecting with Mother Teresa's Missionary Sisters of Charity, as well as working with a group called Right Track. The Missionary Sisters provide food, shelter, and most importantly, Love, to thousands of the poorest of the poor throughout our world. In Calcutta alone there are more than 130 different residences giving support as varied as the human life experience itself. One beautiful example of Mother's Love is Shishu Bhavan, the children's home just down the road from the Mother House, where more than 200 children live and hundreds more come each day for physical and spiritual nourishment. We were blessed to serve the children several times during our week. We also served at Khalighat, the home for the dying; at Prem Dam or peace house; as well as on the outskirts of Calcutta at the Leprosy village.
Being introduced to Right Track, as with any of the work established by Mother Teresa, was a humbling experience of just how much can be done when a person stands up and says "I Will Make A Difference!". Two gentlemen, living among the poor and seeing their considerable needs, established this organization. Grass Roots at it's finest. Through hard work, passion and a deep desire to help their fellow Indian peoples, these men have brought food, education, healthcare, and more importantly, a sense of hope and possibility to literally thousands of people living in make-shift villages throughout the city. One of the most beautiful aspects of these two gentleman, after we had served the people, when we asked, "How can we help you?" their response was "Be our friend, help us to build community throughout the world".
I'd like to share my journal reflections from that first day of serving:
I was one of five members of the team to begin our service at Khalighat, Mother Teresa's Home for the Dying in Calcutta. As with most of the homes, the men and women were in separate rooms. As Kim and I walked into the ladies side, we both stood for a moment and just looked, at the many, many women lying on beds so low to the floor, and at each other. "What do we do now?" There were about twenty women, in various stages of alertness, lying on thin, low to the ground beds covered in blue vinyl. Two rows of open, loving souls waiting for us to serve them, to "heal" them, to "be" with them, to honor the human be-ing inside of the withered bodies. After a few deep breaths and a moments pause, we jumped in, with both feet.
I walked up to the first woman, sat softly beside her, and tried to make eye contact. Her sunken, hollow eyes begged for me to leave her be and to stay close, all aat the same time. Though we never made a strong connection with our eyes, her deepening breath after only a few moments of loving touch, showed me more than words would say, how powerful it is to honor another person, without words, from your heart. The tears started flowing early.
Fairly unglued, I went to a woman, her bed tucked half behind a wall. A great place I thought to re-gain my composure. I sat down beside her and she turned to look into my eyes. Her closely shaved head, her sunken eyes and her barrel-chested heavy breathing, even the shape of her ears, it was like sitting beside my father again and watching him take his final breaths of life on this planet. So much for re-gaining my composure, my heart was blown apart instantly, TNT and 10 seconds. Oh God, how can I find the strength to go on?
As I got up from adjusting this beautiful, loving spirit, I asked to be shown what was next, for I was empty. And behind me, lay 40 more beds of people needing to give and receive love. I began looking for "kind eyeballs", and found them, two women sitting up in bed, smiling directly at me. With tears flowing like a rainstorm I went and sat down between these two beaming faces, naively thinking, "I can serve them!". As I sat down one of the women grabbed my arm and began to massage it. No matter how often I tried to shift gears and check in with her hearts energy, she grabbed my arm, rubbed my shoulder, and smiled that glorious smile. There was no way that I was ever going to "serve her", this one was all about receiving!! The Universe provides exactly what we need, exactly when we need it, all we have to do is get out of the way!
Throughout my time in the second half of the room I kept making eye contact with a young woman sitting alone on the top row. Her eyes haunted me. With each person I touched, I looked toward this heavy heart, and I was drawn to her and intimidated by my own fears all at once. There was a part of me that was hoping our time would be up, yet I knew, in my deepest core being, that she and I were meant to "dance". I can still feel her soft skin, her tiny, fragile fingers in mine. I have sat closely with peole about to transition from this lifetime to another before, and I knew, and so did she, that her time was quickly, quietly approaching. For several minutes she would not look at me, we sat side by side as I began to check her spine and feel her energy. It was as though she had lost her soul somewhere deep inside her frail body. Tears ran down my face as I shifted my position to look directly into her eyes. Her eyes, gazing far beyond my view, slowly turned toward me, they filled with tears as she quietly leaned backward. With tender gestures I helped her to lie softly down. It was like watching a tiny baby drift off into a peaceful deep sleep. I see those beautiful, deep brown, Indian eyes every day, closing quietly, saying their silent Thank You.