There are few quotes I've ever read that have challanged me and stuck in my mind as much as the one that follows. I have it hanging on the wall in my office because I find it's so easy for us as Christians (maybe even moreso for pastor's or full time Christian workers) to forget what needs to be and remain the driving motivation for all we think, say and do. If other "lesser" motivations have gradually nudged out this most primary one, take a moment, ask God's forgiveness and reorient your priorities.
Regardless of your denominational affiliation, theological preferences, or the recent controveries surrounding her alleged confessions of struggling with doubt and unbelief (in her diary), these words from , as spoken to her biographer about 30 years ago, offer a challange to us all. I trust they may stick in your mind as much as they have in mine.
“Tell them that we are not here for the work, we are here for Jesus. All we do is for Him. We are first of all religious; we are not social workers, not teachers, not nurses or doctors, we are religious sisters. We serve Jesus in the poor. We nurse Him, feed Him, visit Him, comfort Him in the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the orphans, the dying. But all we do, our prayer, our work, our suffering is for Jesus. Our life has no other reason or motivation. This is a point many people do not understand. I serve Jesus twenty-four hours a day, whatever I do is for Him. And He gives me strength. I love Him in the poor and the poor in Him. But always the Lord comes first. Whenever visitors come to this house, I take them to the chapel to pray for a while. I tell them, “Let us first greet the Master of the house. Jesus is here. It is for Him we work, to Him we devote ourselves. He gives us the strength to carry on this life and to do so with happiness. Without Him we could not do what we do; we certainly could not continue doing it for a lifetime. One year, two years, perhaps; but not during a whole life, without thought of reward, without expectation of anything good except to suffer with Him who loved us so much that He gave His life for us. Without Jesus our life would be meaningless, incomprehensible. Jesus explains our life... tell them we do it for Jesus."
Thanks to all who have written to tell me how timely the past few thoughts have been in their lives. I pray this one will minister to you as well.
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans