Called by Mother Teresa, Serving Calcutta

New York, N.Y. I have met Mother Teresa in Harlem once and since I respected  deeply. I had long believed that I would visit Mother ‘s facility someday. When I took some people from Japan and the US and went to study at the Dalai Lama in India. At that time,  when meditating, suddenly a vision came and a mother Teresa waving hands. I understood that she was inviting me.

I decided to visit Mother in a hurry from Dharamshala, where His Holiness the Dalai Lama taught us. I took an plane from Delhi. When I arrived at the airport of Kolkata, it was so much heavy rain. Nothing was visible from the windows of the airplane It was passed midnight.

Calcutta provincial governor helped me

As I got on an airplane in a hurry, I did not know the address of Mother and did not know how to get there.  I asked the person sitting next to me “How is one going to Mother Teresa’s place?” That person said, “Now it’s very late. It is dangerous  so it is better you please come with me.” , With suitcases, , I followed him. More than ten people were waiting for this person, and everyone was greeting him bowing.  I thought that this must be an important person. He told one of the people that “This person(Me) wishes to go to Mother Teresa, please take her there and please look for a place to stay tonight for her”  I did not hesitate and followed the driver.

The roof of the car was open and the car was chubby. But somehow, the car reached the facility of Mother Teresa in 30 to 40 minutes, drenched.  It was around 2 o’clock. A Sister came out, “I came to volunteer. May I sleep on the floor here tonight?”, she said ” It is not permitted to sleep here. Please come at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning “, I asked the driver to search for an accommodation, and after spinning round and round for over an hour, we finally found an accommodation.

So, for the first time, I asked that “Who was the one whom I met on the plane and who had been  so kind?”, The driver said he was the state governor of Kolkata!. Normally, who would ride on the car whom I had not known?   I thought this whole experiences was the sign of Mothers spiritual invitation to me. That is why I had no hesitation whatsoever to come along with a stranger in the middle of the night in a strange city.  I deeply thanked the Mother.

 I entered the room which had a bare light bulb, when I turned on the air conditioner,  it sounded like a thunder with awesome sound. The bed was broken so I pull down the mattress on the floor. I thought What a place I  came!, but I said to myself that I am fine, and full of gratefulness and fell asleep..

The first thing I did was washing

Early next  morning, I met Mother at Mass.I told  Mother that I met her at the getto of Harlem  in New York. She said, “Here Kolkotta is like  Harem as well. there are so many places in the world where a plenty of people suffering. At 7 o’clock I met a sister in charge of volunteer, I told that I planned to devote my heart and body full for 4 days and got a schedule of my work.

The first thing I did was laundry. It was 42 degrees hot under the direct  the sun, everyone was washing so hard. It’s so tough with hands! I thought. Because one has to wash,   twice or three times. First of all, do it with running water to take the dirt, then put it in a big tank containing disinfectant, cook in it  and simmer. Then Put it in a water tank, cool it, take out with a long stick and squeeze it, Then again put it in another pot and simmer. Finally rinse squeezing and bring then up  the stairs and dry it on the roof. WHAT JOB IT WAS!!

I said to mother, “I will GET 10 washing machines DONAT3ED IMMEDIATELY.”  Mother said, “Everyone comes to be healthy because the volunteers’ devoted attitudes who enthusiastically comes in to help. I do not need any laundry with machines here.. I was ashamed because  I thought of trying to solve issues with money. This is how I understood in mind. “Communication of the heart is important.” When she told me so, I learned something valuable. This was the first day.

Originally published as Vol. 20 in Weekly Biz, March 31, 2018; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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