The Fragrance of The Wise
I do not believe in coincidence but that every single event in my life has been carefully orchestrated by God for some divine purpose. Such as last night when shortly after I have blogged my senses were rudely assaulted by the stench from the verbal diarrhea of a fool, my initial response was ” this is cutting really close to home! ” So it came as a welcome relief this morning when I encountered the reverse at the first session of the conference — I inhaled the aroma of Christ’s beauty in the wise.
I can never forget the image of this tiny soft-spoken woman shrouded in white. Her face showed the pains and sufferings from what she has experienced in the slums of Cairo. This woman who is lovingly known as Mama Maggie Gobran and is often referred to as the Mother Teresa of Egypt. She really does not fit the image of a powerful dynamic leader, but through her emotional and sometimes tearful speech she really has ” rocked” my world.
After a brief introduction of her ministry, she was welcomed to the podium by the deafening applause from the audience. What surprised me was her reaction to the recognition, she seemed to be embarrassed by all the attention and slowly she bowed her head as her eyes filled with tears and finally prostrated on the floor. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior’ She said. She gave it all to her Lord whom she serves.
I have not heard of this amazing woman until this morning. Mamma Maggie is the youngest daughter of a doctor, after she heard the calling from God she gave up her affluent lifestyle and successful career at the University of Cairo and went instead to minister to the poor. As she wistfully pointed out, at one time she thought these things were what she needed to be elegant, and later learned that all she needed is to love. ” True love is to give, to give until it hurts.”
For the rest of the session she filled my mind with wisdom which clearly came from her life experiences. Wisdom is not from empty words, but from her walk with the Lord in love and humility. I filled my little note-book with the pearls she has gathered:
” Jesus said my words are spirit and life. When things get hard I call to Jesus.”
” Forgiveness is not about you and the others, forgiveness is about you and God.”
” When I listen to a poor child, I am listening to God’s heart beating for all humanity”
“Among them the Creator is hidden. There is mystery with the poor.”
” If God has chosen someone like me, the least of these, He will do miracles in you.”
” If you want to be a hero, do what God wants you to do.”
“I had the best students, the smartest in the whole country. When God wanted to promote me he said, ‘leave the best and the smartest, and go to the poorest.’ That moment I could not believe, but I found Him shining for me, waiting for me with a crown of love. It’s that moment when you die to yourself, when you discover the beauty and the power in you.”
As she finished her talk, she instructed her audience to practice the discipline of silence:
” Silence your body to listen to your words,
silence you tongue to listen to your thoughts
silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating
silence your heart to listen to your spirit
silence your spirit to listen to His spirit.”
She truly is a wise woman, for I have learned these last couple of days while the fool talks incessantly the wise does not. It is only in silence one discovers the Kingdom of God and tastes eternity.
As I said in the beginning of the blog that I do not believe in coincidence, and therefore I am totally convinced that God wants me to pay attention to what it means to be wise. As Mamma Maggie said ” We don’t choose where we were born, but we can choose to be a sinner or a saint”. I cannot choose my life circumstances, but I can indeed choose how to respond. To be a fool or to be he wise, it is all up to me. Do I choose to accept the truth or to reject it.
The stench or the fragrance.