Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the best you have anyway. (Mother Teresa via Kent M. Keith)
This variation on Mother Teresa’s “Anyway” poem that rests on the wall of the Sisters of Charity in Calcutta gives a helpful picture of what “it may never be enough” can actually look like.
Contrary to what “passifists” (a word dubbed by recent scholars) may think, it is not enough to remain neutral. To do nothing. To bury our heads in the sand and ignore everything that is happening around us. It is not only not enough, it is, quite frankly, unacceptable.
Working to create a better world, actively pursuing peace (pacifism), seeking justice, doing the difficult work of reconciliation – that is what it means to give the world the best that we have.
When our world has lost it’s love-forsaken mind, as it seems to have in these recent years, it is more important than ever that we find the strength to give the best that we have. Or as my friend and colleague would say, to “love courageously.”
It is not a simple task. And quite often we will get kicked in the teeth when we take on power, comfort, privilege, oppression, all the “isms,” hatred, death, and everything else that displays the marks of evil in our world. People are often not willing to give up what they have, even if it means fulfilling God’s commandments.
However, it is our task. To love without measure. To be brave enough to seek reconciliation. To be courageous enough to wage peace in a world drowning in injustice.
If you have ever wondered what it means to “love your neighbor,” this is it. This is how Jesus did it. Because your neighbor is everyone. Every. Single. Other person living on this planet.
The world needs the best that we have, not matter what may come. So give the world the best that you have, anyway.